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Case review after Jessica Blake hanging tragedy
PROFESSIONALS in East Yorkshire could not have reasonably foreseen the tragic death of a teenage girl, a review has concluded.
However, the Serious Case Review, launched following the death by hanging of troubled 14-year-old Jessica Blake of Beverley in 2012 highlighted a number of recommendations and areas of learning for all agencies involved in her case.
It said the pastoral care team at the girl’s school tried to help her talk about her feelings, worries and concerns so her difficulties could be assessed.
“However, as this report has noted, troubled young people generally resist sharing their problems with professionals and parents, and are more likely to discuss their feelings with friends,” it said.
“A major challenge for professionals is thus to ensure that services are accessible, flexible and responsive to young people’s needs, particularly in relation to self-harming behaviour.”
Bron Sanders, independent chair of the East Riding Safeguarding Children Board, offered its sympathies to the teenager’s family and friends.
He said the review’s recommendations included improving professionals’ and volunteers’ understanding about self-harm and suicidal behaviour, and ensuring services for young people who self-harm are accessible and designed to engage them.
It had also called for agencies to improve the way they worked together and shared information when working with young people who were known or suspected to be self-harming and/or exhibiting suicidal behaviour.
He said all the agencies involved had taken on board – and acted upon – the recommendations, adding: “Improvements are being made in professional practice which will better help young people showing signs of self-harm.”