24 Mar 2019

Six years later, mother still waiting for coronial inquest into son's death

12:06 pm on 24 March 2019

A mother whose son killed himself six years ago says she is still waiting for a coroner's inquest into his death.

Corinda Taylor speaking at the select committee today.

Corinda Taylor (centre). Photo: RNZ / Karen Brown

Corinda Taylor founded the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust to help families who had lost a relative to suicide.

She took her son's case to the Health and Disability Commissioner who found fault with his care but the Southern District Health Board said they had done everything the commissioner asked.

But Ms Taylor disputes this has happened.

Ms Taylor has been told there would be an inquest, but she only received correspondence this month.

"We had a pre-inquest meeting with the corner on the 13th of December last year, this is the first correspondence from the corner and that was dated the 4th of March," she said.

She said both the pre-inquest meeting and correspondence was hard to interpret.

"We had to have lawyers, otherwise we would have been totally out of our depth.

"That just shows the unfairness on families having to face this in the aftermath, without lawyers you can't present your case in the best way possible."

She said with constant delays her family had to pay astronomical legal fees.

There was also a case pending with the Human Rights Review Tribunal, but it had been agreed between parties involved the inquest would go first.

Ms Taylor and her family marked the sixth year anniversary of her son Ross' death on Friday.

"This legal process is barrier to moving on forward and enjoying life, which we are unable to do at the moment," she said.

She said the system needed to change to give families more support to prevent this happening.

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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