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Alison Lapper demands better support for young people struggling with mental health

The Sussex artist and campaigner - Alison Lapper - went to Parliament today to demand better support as early as possible for young people struggling with their mental health.

Alison lost her son Parys in August. The 19-year-old died from a suspected drugs overdose and was found in a hotel in Worthing. Today (07/11) she joined the charity Young Minds to deliver a petition signed by 70,000 people.

It calls for all political parties to commit to a new strategy to deal with what they describe as a 'mental health crisis' for children and young people.

  • Watch Kerry Swain's report below:

The grief shows on her face, but Alison Lapper is determined to help young people in crisis.

Just 12 weeks after the death of her son Parys, she was by the side of mental health campaigners.

19 year old Parys was Alison's only child. The talented artist described him as her greatest work.

Alison Lapper Trafalgar Square statue in London

She was pregnant when she posed for the celebrated Trafalgar Square statue.

As Parys grew, he developed severe mental health problems. He was bullied about his mother's disability. Parys was found dead in Worthing in August.

Alison Lapper and Parys as a baby Credit: ITV Meridian
Parys was found dead in Worthing in August. Credit: Alison Lapper

The charity Young Minds says one in eight children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition but the NHS is only able to support a third of those in need.

The number of young people arriving in A&E with a mental health problem has tripled since 2010.

The number of young people arriving in A&E with a mental health problem has tripled since 2010 Credit: ITV
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children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition
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but the NHS is only able to support a third of those in need
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The number of young people arriving in A&E with a mental health problem has tripled since 2010
70,000 people signed the petition Credit: ITV

A petition signed by 70,000 people was delivered to all the main political parties in England calling for better and earlier help before mental health problems become critical- to save precious young lives.