A mother says her autistic eight-year-old daughter has tried to kill herself 50 times in the past year.
Donna Robinson said her daughter Poppy has tried to stab herself and has thrown herself in front of moving cars in an attempt to end her life.
The mother-of-three said she is constantly having to watch the young girl and has to hide any items around the house which could be used in her suicide bid.
Ms Robinson, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, said: ‘I think the number of attempts has been well over 50 times.
‘We cannot carry on like this. I have had to hide everything from her.
‘She recently came home from school with something she had made and I found her trying to strangle herself with it. I did not even think there was something she could use but this is what we have to look out for.’
Ms Robinson said there is no clear reason behind Poppy’s actions but said she feels she is ‘riding an unimaginable storm waiting for lightening to strike’.
She is now calling for improved mental health services for youngsters.
The worried mother says that, because she is helping Poppy, the schoolgirl is not getting help from NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
She said: ‘There just seems to be no help available for young children.
‘No one hears or suspects children so young to be even thinking like this at such a young age but I know we are not the only ones. Nobody wants to speak up about it because they don’t want to be viewed negatively but something has to be done.’
She said it has been a ‘constant battle’ to get help.
‘The local NHS services want to discharge her but nothing has changed,’ she said.
‘We need to be given the help to treat this now because when they get older, we will have less control and it will be much more difficult to stop them.’
Ms Robinson is also backing an initiative set up by another parent Nicola Dye, which calls for new measures to treat children.
Ms Dye, from Crewe, spoke out last year following her 13-year-old daughter Olivia’s attempted overdose on the children’s ward.
She has produced a list of aims and has started a petition to have them discussed in parliament.
Gillian Archbold, Diversity Manager at Wakefield-based charity Kidz Aware, said: ‘We are helping more families now than anytime in the 25 years I have been working in the sector.
‘Most of the children who use CAMHS services say they have not been helped and still self-harm.
‘There is a bigger percentage of children who don’t even get seen by CAMHS and that is because the GPs are not trained in mental health and unable to explain the extent of what the family is going through in the referral. Some of these children and families have had their lives turned upside down.’
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