THE PARENTS of a teenager who took her own life in February  have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley Award for their work to help improve mental health services across the borough.

 

In February, 19-year-old, Eleanor Lomax died after battling with mental health issues in the weeks leading up to her death.

 

Since then, her parents Elaine and Chris, have fundraised for better mental health services for children across the borough.

 

“Ellie had been treated with the child mental health services before, but she found the transition from the child to adult services very hard,” said Elaine, 58, from Thurgoland.

 

“She had reached out to the Samaritans in the days before she died and I think they provided her with comfort and someone to talk to. 

 

“She was a beautiful and loving girl who never managed to work out how to fit in or be happy in the adult world.”

 

At her funeral in March, Ellie’s family asked for donations to be made to the Samaritans and to other local mental health charities to be able to continue their work to help young people throughout Barnsley.

 

“I think young people are very overwhelmed now,” added Elaine. “They have their phones and social media and I think that really takes a toll on their mental health.

 

“Myself and Chris just want others to be able to get help, one conversation could help to save a life and stop other families from going through what we have.”

 

More than £2,000 has so far been raised for the Samaritans.

 

Elaine and Chris had planned fundraising events which have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

 

The couple have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award in the category Triumph over Adversity. 

 

“I want to say thank you for the nomination,” added Elaine. “It’s not just us who has been fundraising in Ellie’s memory but we want to keep her memory alive and try to help others.

 

“Ellie’s friends have been amazing and have continued to raise funds for the Samaritans and other mental health organisations  – we are both so grateful to them for their support throughout our heartbreak.”