Highlands & Islands

Parents of suicide teenager sue NHS Western Isles

The Nicolson Institute Image copyright Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Image caption Emergency services were called to The Nicolson Institute on 12 December 2017 following concerns for Anton Michael

The parents of a boy who took his own life at school are suing their health board over his care.

Anton Michael, 15, a pupil at The Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, Lewis, died in December 2017.

His father, Dr David Michael, told the Daily Record Anton had "violent mood swings" and could be found "despairing and planning to end his life"

Dr Michael alleges NHS Western Isles' tests to diagnose his son's illness were "unsuitable".

The academic editor claimed warnings about Anton's behaviour were not heeded.

In a statement, the health board said it was "deeply saddened" by Anton's death and could not comment further because the case was subject to legal proceedings.

In his interview with the Daily Record, Dr Michael said he suspected Anton was suffering from depression, but the teenager was given an initial diagnosis of borderline Asperger's.

Dr Michael claimed questionnaires were used to "form the diagnosis" and depression was "ruled out".

He described the tests as "unsuitable" for a child, and he also said they were "unfortunately administered" when Anton was in a "good mood".

'Lovely young man'

Emergency services were called to The Nicolson Institute following concerns for Anton Michael on 12 December 2017.

In a statement the following day, the school said he was a "lovely young man who was well regarded by staff and pupils".

The teenager made a "very positive contribution" to the school and his death had affected all staff and pupils, the statement said.

Emergency services personnel were thanked for their efforts in trying to save his life.

And support services, including a 24-hour helpline, were made available for staff and pupils.

Anton's family has declined to comment on their legal action.

In a statement, NHS Western Isles said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of any young person in our community, and offer this family our deepest condolences for their loss.

"As this case is subject to legal proceedings, we are unable to comment."

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