A teenage girl dialled 999 over fears ‘she couldn’t keep herself safe’ months before her death 

A teenage girl dialled 999 over fears she couldnt keep


A teenage girl who was found hanged dialled 999 over fears ‘she couldn’t keep herself safe’ months before her death, an inquest heard.

Callie Smith, 19, was found dead on the Kirklees Trail in Bury, Greater Manchester in the early hours of June 10 2020.

An inquest into her death at Rochdale Coroner’s Court has heard she had struggled with mental health issues for many years and previously attempted a number of overdoses.

Callie Smith, 19, pictured, dialled 999 over fears 'she couldn't keep herself safe' months before her death, an inquest heard

Callie Smith, 19, pictured, dialled 999 over fears ‘she couldn’t keep herself safe’ months before her death, an inquest heard

In February 2020 – four months before her death – she phoned for an ambulance fearing she may harm herself.

Ms Smith was found to have superficial scratches to her arm after arriving at A&E and was assessed by a mental health nurse. 

A referral was made to Healthy Minds in Bury and she was due to attend an appointment on June 22; less than two weeks after her death.

Ms Smith was taken to A&E and then admitted to the Irwell Unit at Fairfield Hospital after one overdose attempt in March 2019, from where she was discharged after three-and-a-half weeks.

Ms Smith reported feeling ‘low for several months’ after the attempt, senior coroner Joanne Kearsley heard on the second day of the inquest. 

Dr Adeola Akinola, a consultant psychiatrist, told the hearing: ‘She said she had suicidal thoughts but had never acted on them before, and that the overdose had not been planned and was something she did impulsively.’

He also said the initial plan was for Ms Smith to remain in hospital for around a week or two and that arrangements were put in place to help her find accommodation ahead of being discharged as ‘going back home was not an option’.

She mostly remained ‘settled’ during her time on the unit and was allowed several periods of leave, the consultant psychiatrist added.

On one occasion, he said Ms Smith’s mother, Vanessa O’Neill, contacted the hospital to express concerns that her daughter had been using drugs while away from the hospital.

However, Dr Akinola said there were no such concerns among staff.

On March 23 Ms Smith returned to the hospital ‘heavily intoxicated’ after drinking a large amount of alcohol.

Ms Smith with her mother. The teenager was due to attend an appointment with Healthy Minds on June 22, less than two weeks after her body was found by a passer-by

Ms Smith with her mother. The teenager was due to attend an appointment with Healthy Minds on June 22, less than two weeks after her body was found by a passer-by

The inquest heard she told nurses ‘she did not want to be here’ and, when asked what she had meant, replied: ‘Being alive.’

While in hospital, the teenage girl received a diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder but Dr Akinola said she became ‘unhappy’ after learning this had also been discussed with her mother, so withdrew consent for doctors to speak to her.

After learning her daughter was due to be discharged, the inquest heard Ms O’Neill attended the hospital to express her concern.

James Staniland, a mental health nurse on the Irwell Unit, carried out an assessment of Ms Smith prior to her being discharged and told the inquest that she revealed she was ‘still feeling low’, but said she did not have any plans to end her life.

He said he had ‘no concerns’ about her and arranged for a follow-up appointment to take place within seven days.

Ms Smith was encouraged to make a referral to Healthy Minds, but ‘failed to engage’. 

She was discharged the next day and moved in with her sister. The young girl later that day attended an A&E department at Fairfield Hospital while ‘intoxicated’ but left before being seen.

An inquest into Ms Smith's death at Rochdale Coroner's Court has heard she had struggled with mental health issues for many years and previously attempted a number of overdoses

An inquest into Ms Smith’s death at Rochdale Coroner’s Court has heard she had struggled with mental health issues for many years and previously attempted a number of overdoses

Samantha Doherty, manager of Bury Home Treatment Team, said a follow-up appointment was arranged with Ms Smith four days after her discharge, which she failed to attend. 

Dr Micheal Kirka, a consultant psychiatrist who saw Callie on two occasions in April and June of 2019, also told the inquest Ms Smith reported ‘feeling empty’ during her first appointment.

He said: ‘She had a lot of insight and understanding into her feelings.

‘She was open to exploring and going deeper into these emotions and understanding them.’

Dr Kirka added the teenager struggled to sleep and was experiencing ‘on and off suicidal thoughts’. 

When he next saw Ms Smith, he said she felt to be ‘in a more stable place’.

Dr Kirka said that after missing an appointment in December 2019 Ms Smith received a letter from Healthy Minds to say she was being discharged from the service.

She turned up at A&E two months later, fearing ‘she could not keep herself safe’.

Mental health nurse Susan Griffiths, who assessed Ms Smith at Fairfield told the inquest she appeared ‘jovial’ and discussed plans to go to university.

She had also agreed for a referral to be made to Healthy Minds after expressing concerns that she may have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

She was due to attend an appointment on June 22, less than two weeks after her body was found by a passer-by.  

The inquest continues.



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