Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:32 UK

Mother's mental health petition

Tracy Roberts and her son Anthony Martin
Tracy Roberts(l) says her son Anthony Martin(r) should have had more help

A mother whose son was found dead in an area of south Wales hit by a series of apparent suicides is petitioning for better mental health services.

Tracy Roberts' son Anthony Martin, 19, is one of 22 young people in Bridgend county to die since the start of 2007.

Mrs Roberts wants more assembly government money for the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust unit.

The assembly government said it was investing 22m in a new adolescent and child mental health unit at Bridgend.

The trust has said previously it was in touch with Mrs Roberts.

Mr Martin, a catering assistant, was found hanged in April last year at his home in the Cefn Glas area of Bridgend.

His mother Tracy Roberts, 38, who lives in Port Talbot, claims her son should have been given more help after he was made redundant and became depressed.

When he went to Bridgend hospital he was told he didn't fit a certain criteria so he was told to go home
Tracy Roberts

She said Mr Martin was self-harming every day in the run up to his death and attended appointments at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.

Mrs Roberts, who also has three daughters, believes her son was not offered the help he needed, and is campaigning for more money for the unit he attended.

"He tried to take his life twice before, and when he went to Bridgend hospital he was told he didn't fit a certain criteria so he was told to go home," she told the Port Talbot Guardian newspaper.

She said: "If things don't improve then people will continue to kill themselves - it's a big problem in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend - something needs to be done about it."

Patient confidentiality

In the wake of her son's death, Mrs Roberts has previously urged other teenagers to talk about their problems

A spokeswoman for the NHS trust has previously said: "The trust is in touch with Mr Martin's mother through an advocate to review her concerns and is fully co-operating with the coroner's office.

"The trust is unable to comment further due to patient confidentiality."

An inquest has still to be held into Mr Martin's death.

The assembly government is developing a national suicide prevention strategy which is nearing completion.

An assembly government spokesperson said an extra 4.8m had been committed to improve mental health services.

"We are investing 22m in a new child and adolescent mental health unit for south Wales which will be based at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend," the spokesperson added.

A year before media coverage of the deaths began, work had already started on developing a local suicide prevention strategy due to concern about the number of young male deaths and the lack of a national strategy.

Bridgend says it was the first area in Wales to take this initiative, and its strategy sets out a "road map" for partners to reduce the numbers of suicides, attempted suicides and self-harm in all age groups in the county and neighbouring Neath Port Talbot. A newly-appointed officer will co-ordinate its implementation.

Bridgend Local Services Board, in partnership with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust, has been awarded almost 1m as part of the lottery's Mental Health Matters scheme.

The scheme, Let's Talk - or Siaradwn Ni in Welsh - will establish a network of specially-trained people who will promote suicide prevention techniques in the community and across voluntary and statutory sector services.

Last week a rock concert was staged in the town by the band Funeral for a Friend to raise money for the Samaritans, who are also working to help young people in the area.


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