A devastated mother believes her daughter’s suicide could have been prevented if she had received better mental health support in the years before her death.
Charlotte Guy, 17, was found dead in Dukes Farm, Wigan, hours after she accidentally sent a Snapchat message to her boyfriend in which she revealed she had slept with someone else.
Now her mother, Debbie, has spoken for the first time since her daughter’s death to say her life ‘will never be the same without her’.
‘Charlotte had suffered with mental health problems since she was 12-years-old due to being bullied at school,’ Debbie, 48, said.
‘If she had immediate mental health support when she first felt suicidal in 2013, we’d still have her with us today.’
Charlotte had been dating Jack Hirst, 20, for two years when they broke up. Two days later, she sent the accidental Snapchat to a group that she didn’t realise Jack was in.
‘The guilt obviously got too much and she thought the only way out was to kill herself,’ her mother said.
Debbie revealed that herself and Charlotte’s dad Martin, 48, actually found their daughter’s body after a frantic search using Snapchat’s location tracker.
‘It was my birthday on the day she died and we’d spent the morning together, opening presents and cards and celebrating,’ Debbie said.
‘Later that evening she told us that she was going to her friend’s house to pick up her clothes.
‘But just one hour later, when Charlotte still wasn’t home, we arrived at her friend’s house and realised she’d never been there.
‘Jack, who’d received a message from Charlotte which said ‘knowing you hate me is enough,’ sent us a photograph showing her location as he was worried.
‘We followed the map to some nearby woods and after frantically racing to the scene we were greeted the police who had already found her body.
‘Despite the hospital working to try and save her for an hour we were told that she hadn’t made it. That’s when my world fell apart.’
Debbie, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, said she is convinced her daughter did not mean to kill herself.
‘I truly believe that she didn’t know the severity of what she was doing,’ she said.
‘Charlotte was a great person to be around, she’d always cheer you up and would put everyone before herself.
‘She was our only girl in a family surrounded by boys, so she took a lot of their traits – whilst still being our little princess.
‘She was really active and was into a lot of sports like kick boxing and mixed martial arts – she was one of a kind.
‘But her mental health often got the better of her – she had previously taken two overdoses that she had survived from.
‘After this we helped Charlotte and got her the help that she needed, but there was a lot of waiting for this.
‘I often find myself thinking that if mental health services had been quicker and more readily available for her, she might still be here now.’
The family have said that in the future they hope to campaign to increase the availability of mental health services ‘so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s little girl’, Debbie said.