Desperate Milton Keynes mum launches fundraiser to get mentally-ill son private treatment and avoid NHS waiting lists

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A mum whose suicidal son has been put on a year-long waiting list with the NHS has launched a fundraising page in a race against time to get him the treatment he needs.

Single parent Shen Bettridge is trying to raise £1,500 to enable 21-year-old Nathan to receive specialised psychotherapy from a private practice.

Though a referral has been made on the NHS, she says she has been told the wait could be a year.

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Nathan has autism, ADHD and physical health problems as well as complex mental health difficulties that have worsened over the past year or two. He takes regular medication but is still anxious and depressed to the point of wanting to take his own life.

Shen with her son NathanShen with her son Nathan
Shen with her son Nathan

"He’s already made one attempt and was saved before it was too late. If I don’t do something now to get him the help he needs it could be too late,” said Shan

"Every time the phone rings I am expecting it to be bad news. The other night I had to stay on the phone with him all night, reassuring him until the morning care staff came in... He’s also on the phone to the Samaritans frequently. He is very unwell.”

Shen lives in Milton Keynes but Nathan lives in a supported living placement in Aylesbury. A bright young man, he dreams of going to college to study IT and design when he is better, she said.

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"I just want him to get the help he needs as soon as possible. There should not be waiting lists...The whole system is so broken down and it is so hard for me as a parent to watch my son suffer.

"His care team and I have tried everything to hurry up the treatment he needs but the NHS waiting list is very long.”

She launched a GoFundMe appeal this week and is urging people to help if they are able to.

“Please help me do this for my precious boy. Living like this is exhausting and scary and stressful. I just want Nathan to be happy and healthy.”

Anybody who feels suicidal can contact the Samaritans for a confidential chat at any time on 116 123. Young people under the age of 35 can also call Papyrus on 0800 068 4131.