An NHS trust has said it will “investigate” the case of a trans teenager in Bradford who tragically took his own life after his mother claimed it was not doing enough to help her son.
Finn Hall, 16, from Keighley, reportedly passed away on Friday (November 18) after years of struggling with his mental health.
Finn’s aunt, Abigail Ford, told her Yorkshire Live he had come out as trans to the family in February this year and was on a waiting list to be referred to a gender clinic.
She told the newspaper: “He had the strength and the courage to tell us in February that he didn’t feel like a girl and he had as early as he could remember. He had never liked to wear dresses and always wanted to wear boys’ clothes.
“The more he grew up, he met people who were going through similar things and he trained for himself and realized he wasn’t comfortable in that body — because he shouldn’t be in it, he should be a boy.
“Since then he has been known as Finn – that was accepted by everyone in the family. He seemed a lot happier than Finn. He had spoken to doctors about it and was referred to a transgender clinic, although there was a waiting list.”
Ford added that the teen had struggled with his mental health since age 11 and had gone through an eating disorder. His family had reportedly tried to provide him with mental health care, but believed it was not enough for him.
“We are all absolutely devastated and heartbroken. Finn’s life was taken much too young,’ she said.
Finn was the second of five children and reportedly spent much of his spare time volunteering.
“He was a very kind and caring person… He always loved to make people laugh. He didn’t like people being sad around him,” Ford said.
Finn’s mother, Hannah Hall, told the BBC she had contacted their local Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) team in the days before the 16-year-old transgender’s death, but claims she was simply referred to the ER.
“They said if I was really worried about him taking him to the emergency room…I wanted them to take it seriously, I wanted him to get the help he so desperately needed,” Hall said.
She called for additional mental health resources following Finn’s tragic death.
“How many more children will be lost in this system because there isn’t enough money, time or people?” she said.
“If we can help just one other family, we’ve done something for Finn.”
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust told the BBC that there will be a “thorough investigation” into Finn’s case.
According to a disturbing report released this year, nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth in the United States have seriously considered suicide in the past year, with the trans community at greatest risk.
According to The Trevor Project report, nearly one in five (19 percent) of trans and nonbinary youth have attempted suicide in the past year, compared to about one in 10 cisgender queer youth (nine percent).
The report indicated that the pandemic and “relentless political attacks” have had a major impact on the mental well-being of the community.
The CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project, Amit Paley, said the research showed that “suicidal thoughts have been on the rise among LGBTQ youth in recent years,” making the organization’s “lifesaving work” all the more important.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the relentless political attacks during this period cannot be underestimated,” said Paley.