Mum finds teenage son dead at home

Ben Bennett with his mum Maria
Ben Bennett with his mum Maria
Picture: Shaun Roster

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A DEVASTATED mum has spoken of her heartache after her son was found dead at home.

Ben Bennett, 19, was found dead by his mum Maria Bennett when she went to wake him one morning.

Ben (centre) with his sister Rosie-Jane and brother Peter

Ben (centre) with his sister Rosie-Jane and brother Peter

He is believed to have taken an overdose of medication he was taking for depression and mental health issues.

Mrs Bennett has called into question the treatment he received from Solent NHS Trust.

She says he was referred by his doctor to St Mary’s Health Campus in Portsmouth for a consultation with the Assessment to Intervention (A2i) service, which is the first entry point for patients to access mental health services.

But she says he was discharged on the same day after the appointment in January and there were no further follow-ups, although he continued to be seen by his GP.

On the morning of his death he was due to see his GP.

The tragedy came as Ben, of Deal Road, Wymering, was battling with feeling down.

Ben used to work at The Old Vic pub in Southsea, but his mental state started to go downhill after losing the job several months ago, said Mrs Bennett.

She said: ‘He made people happy.

‘He worked hard.

‘When people were down, he brought them up.

‘I’m devastated. I am so empty.

‘There’s so many “whys” and “ifs”. I’m heartbroken.’

Ben was going out with Shanice Honess, 22, and she is also devastated.

Mrs Bennett, 45, said: ‘He was let down by mental health.

‘He was screaming out for help. He was going to the doctor every week.’

Matthew Hall, operations director for Adult Mental Health Service at Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘We are aware of the sad death of Ben, who was recently in contact with our A2i service. We are undertaking a review of the care he received, which will be concluded this month.

‘We will invite Mrs Bennett to contribute her views to the review and will discuss all the findings with her.’

Meanwhile, family and friends are fundraising to help pay for the funeral.

Members of the family will be taking part in a head shave at Zoom Hairdressing in Park Parade, Leigh Park, on Thursday, April 9.

Later that day, at 7.30pm, there will be a medium event at The Painters Arms in Lake Road, Portsmouth.

Ben’s funeral takes place at 4pm at Havant Crematorium on April 15.

An inquest is due to take place into Ben’s death in August.