Elisha was “full of fun, friendly and outgoing”
“It just feels like you are out there fighting on your own, if love could have saved my child, I would have saved everyone in Ireland” Grainne Gault, mother of tragic teen Elisha told the Pat Kenny Show on TV3 last night.
14 year old Elisha went missing on Saint Patricks night and her body was recovered from the local river in Carrick on Suir, Co Tipperary after an eight day search. Grainne said, “those were the longest eight days of my life.”
Elisha was “full of fun, friendly and outgoing” recalled her Mum. However at the start of last year (2017) the young teen had disclosed she had suffered sexual abuse. Grainne said “We went through the process, alerted the Gardaí and went down to a special child unit in Waterford and the case was forwarded to the DPP for review”. However in January, Elisha and her parents were told that the DPP would not be taking a prosecution on the back of Elisha’s complaint.
In her first exclusive interview Grainne also revealed how Elisha was hospitalised after she tried to end her own life, for the first time in May of last year. The following day she was assessed by a mental health professional, who was part of the local Child and Adolescence Mental Health Service. However at a follow up appointment two weeks later the CAMHS team told Elisha that she was not suitable for their services, “All we were given was a print out of other services we could try.”
Grainne Gault wants better treatment options put in place for teens suffering mental illness and has called for a suicide first aid programme to be rolled out nationwide, so that parents, schools and local communities can best help and protect vulnerable youngsters. In terms of how her own family is coping with Elisha’s death Grainne said, “She’s missed, terribly missed … but Elisha would have wanted us to reach out and try and help others”.