Mother’s fury at ‘lack of support’ for daughter

Libbi ToledoImage copyright
Police Scotland

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Libbi Toledo took her own life in September

The mother of a teenage girl who took her own life after absconding from residential care said she was “furious” at the lack of mental health support for her daughter.

Libbi Toledo had severe mental health issues as well as autism and ADHD.

The 17-year-old’s body was found in a scrapyard in Kirkcaldy, 10 days after she was reported missing.

Her mother Judi said the way her daughter was “let down by the system is absolutely disgusting”.

Media captionJudi Toledo: My daughter was let down by care system

The Scottish government has accepted recommendations that it needs a specialist facility for children with learning difficulties and autism.

Libbi’s body was found on 21 September in Kirkcaldy in Fife.

She had last been seen on 11 September close to where her body was found.

Libbi had spent three days prior to her disappearance with family in Brechin in Angus, where her mother lives.

She had returned to the residential care home in Kirkcaldy the day before she went missing.

Her mother said Libbi was “fun, creative, nurturing and loving” but she had “difficulties that affected her behaviour and how she reacted to things”.

She said Libbi had a history of mental illness, which was first apparent in early childhood.

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Judi Toledo

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Judi said she remained close to her daughter

Judi Toledo said: “She became very destructive when she was angry, physically lashing out and destroying things, ripping wallpaper off walls, anything to get the frustration out.”

By the time she was at nursery, the staff flagged up behavioural difficulties and Libbi was assessed for ADHD but never diagnosed.

Libbi spent time in care because of her challenging and sometimes violent behaviour.

At the age of 14, she ran away from her foster carer and made a determined attempt to take her own life.

She was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where she spent nine hours before being discharged to her foster carer.

Image copyright
Police Scotland

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Libbi Toledo was not diagnosed with autism until after her suicide attempt

Her mother said: “Six months later she was diagnosed with the Asperger’s range of autism.”

Judi Toledo cannot understand why her daughter was not admitted to a mental health provision.

She said: “A psychiatric nurse did come in and evaluate her, and it was her that flagged up there may be some autism.”

In-patient care

Her mother said she was “furious” that in-patient care was never considered.

“If she had got the help she needed then, maybe she would still be here,” she said.

“We can’t guarantee that but maybe I wouldn’t have had to plan a funeral last month.”

Libbi’s mother said her daughter had been in “secure” residential accommodation three or four times since 2014.

She said: “Secure accommodation is never good enough for people who need to be in a psychiatric hospital.

“Secure accommodation is successful in being able to prevent the dangerous behaviours but it does not address the root cause.

“I don’t think any parent should have to fight to get appropriate health care for their child. Kids are not getting the help they need.”

Mother’s fury at ‘lack of support’ for daughter

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