Parents are calling for plastic bags to be banned from a mental health facility

  • The fathers of two children who committed suicide by suffocating themselves at a mental health unit are calling for plastic bags to be banned from the facility, according to reports by the BBC.

    Bencowburn21Ben Cowburn had committed suicide at Longreach House in Redruth in 2010. Three years earlier, another patient, Trenna Shaw had asphyxiated herself in the same way.

    The Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust said it regretted the deaths but the number of suicides at Longreach House was not up to the national average.

    Trenna Shaw's father, Ray Hancock said:

    "It was very much an instant replay. It was only 13 months from the time we had our inquest for Trenna to the time Ben took his life."

    Mr Hancock contacted Steve Cowburn, Ben's father, to discuss the similarities between the two deaths.

    Mr Cowburn said:

    "This was truly unbelievable. When he [Ray Hancock] explained how Trenna had died, I just couldn't believe the similarities and that nothing seemed to have changed in the interim period of three years."

    In March, the jury heard Mr Cowburn had previously made 43 suicide attempts and the cause of his death was asphyxia.

    In a statement, Maria Edgcumbe, from the foundation trust, said:

    "We would like to reiterate our condolences to Trenna and Ben's families.

    "Both were tragic cases.

    "Fortunately these are very rare as can be seen by the dates.

    "Trenna died in Longreach House in 2007 and there was not another death until 2010.

    "While we would prefer that there were none, national statistics show that the majority of psychiatric units will experience one death by suicide each year."

    Picture Source: (

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