Sir James Munby, head of family courts in England and Wales, has approved a proposed care plan for the suicidal girl, known as X. This plan, it is hoped, will provide some level of hope and security for the girls immediate future.

Her case came to prominence when Sir James lambasted the system for not providing ongoing care for the girl. It is widely believed she would die by suicide if such treatment and care were not provided.

X, due to be released from secure custody shortly, is seen as extremely suicidal. In an emotional statement, he said there would be ‘blood on our hands’ if suitable supervision were not provided. The case has helped highlight the shocking shortfall that far too many experience with mental health provisions in the UK.  In Sir James’ judgement, he said: “I feel shame and embarrassment; shame, as a human being, as a citizen and as an agent of the State… that I can do no more for X.”

It has been heard how unit staff had witnessed “a profoundly disturbing and distressing scene when X self-harmed by repeatedly banging her head and face against the wall”. Staff had also claimed they had to check on her every 50 seconds while she was in the shower.

The Broader Picture

Sir James, states the girl ought not be ‘privileged’ simply because her case was heard in his court. He added: “I emphasise this because a mass of informed, if anecdotal, opinion indicates that X’s is not an isolated case and that there are far too many young women in similar predicaments. How are they to be protected?”

It is obviously great news that X has the care she requires, what of the countless others who are suicidal? how many more cases like this do we need for real change to occur?

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