A MUM who lost her son to suicide says she wants to improve mental health support which 'failed' her son. 

Gaynor Pritchard founded Behind the Smile charity after her son Zac Pritchard died by suicide in 2018.

Zac lived in Worcester and was working as a social work assistant when his mental health started to decline.

The bereaved mum set up her charity in Worcester as she claims the services in the city are 'still lacking' since her son died at just 29.

She said: "Mental health services let my son down. 

"He had been very ill, he didn't have much help and he was discharged after. 

"He was discharged on Friday morning and ended his life on the Saturday morning. 

"We set up the charity here because of the services in Worcester.

"He died in Worcester and we thought it was sensible to do something here, we know the support was lacking. 

"We've been running a mental health support group for the past couple of weeks." 

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A Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust spokesperson said it carried out an internal review after Zac's death.

They said: "We recognise the devastating impact that suicide has on family and friends, and our thoughts remain with Zac’s family and all those bereaved by suicide.

"We are assured that following the independent coroner’s inquest, and our own internal review, our staff provided an appropriate level of care to Zac to support his complex mental illness and that his death was not a result of any failings in our care.

"We have met with Zac’s family, but would encourage them to contact us again should they wish to discuss their concerns in further detail."

Speaking about mental health provision in the area, the spokesperson said: "The mental health needs of people vary greatly.

"Our Healthy Minds service is available for anyone experiencing common problems such as stress, anxiety and low mood.

"It offers a range of support including 1:1 therapy, groups and online courses.

"Those who are worried about other symptoms or have concerns about their mental wellbeing are encouraged to speak to their GP who will work to understand more about the way they’re feeling and where appropriate, make a referral to a service that can help."

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire 24/7 mental health helpline provides support or advice if you, or someone you know, is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs urgent help. Its available 24 hours a day to anyone in Herefordshire and Worcestershire - 0808 196 9127. For more information on urgent mental health services visit the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust website.