THE devastated dad of a teenager who killed himself by jumping in front of a train has called for action to improve links between children’s and adult mental health services.

Jeremy Pearse believes more should have been done to involve him in the care of his son Eddie once he turned 18 and that a proper handover should have taken place when his care moved from the youth team to adult services.

An inquest into the death of the former Peter Symonds student earlier this week highlighted his concerns with coroner Graeme Short noting the poor system of |handover.

As previously reported Eddie died in February when he stepped in front of a train at Winchester railway station.

It came just weeks after his resignation from his apprenticeship at Age Concern, which Mr Short ruled was a “contributory factor” in the teenager’s thought processes before his death as he had tried desperately to retract it to no avail.

The former Westgate School pupil had been suffering with depression for just over a year and had been attending regular sessions with adolescent mental health teams, accompanied by his dad.

But once he turned 18 his care was transferred to Southern Health’s adult team meaning his dad was no longer informed of the issues affecting his son and prevented him from taking part in sessions.

During a meeting with community nurse Gemma Stubbington a week before his death Eddie admitted that he was hearing voices in his head.

She referred him to the psychosis team but on the day of that appointment he cancelled it and took his life hours later.

Jeremy, who believes Eddie was pressurised into his resignation from Age Concern, an allegation which the charity denies, said: “I think some 18-year-olds are more mature than others and Eddie was young for his age.

“If I had known that he had said that he was hearing voices in his head I would have gone to that psychosis meeting with him. Someone should have told me.

“I had to really push to go into the beginning of that session, despite me having gone into all the previous ones, but as soon as they hit 18 they are considered adults –- there is no transition.”

He added: “There should have also been a much better handover between the youth and adult mental health service. The paperwork was passed across but there was no meeting.”

Following an internal investigation into the care of Eddie Southern Health found that more detailed handovers between services should take place, carers should be involved and records needed to be updated efficiently.

Dr Lesley Stevens, director of mental health and learning disabilities from the trust, said: “We found that the sharing of information between the different organisations involved could have been more robust.

“We have also reinforced to our staff the importance of involving carers and of ensuring the transition to adult services is as safe and effective as possible.”

She added: “We encouraged Eddie to speak with his family about his symptoms but as an adult we could not discuss details of his care without consent.”

Eddie Pearse: A popular teen

“Eddie was one of life’s good guys.”

That’s how the popular teenager is remembered by his heartbroken friends and family.

The Saints fan lived with his dad in Western Road, Winchester, and the pair were inseparable, playing sports, watching movies and going to gigs together.

His parents had split up a few years previously and shared custody but his mother, Caroline Ferguson, moved to Somerset in June last year.

At his inquest she claimed that her son had threatened to kill her and fellow students at his college a year before his death. However, this was the first his dad had ever heard about any threats.

Jeremy, 59, a freelance sports producer, said: “This statement from his mother came completely out of the blue. I had never ever heard that before and was shocked when she said it because that is not a true reflection of Eddie and the type of person he was.

“To think he could say something like that is really unbelievable. The people who knew Eddie know that those words are a misrepresentation of Eddie. It is a complete insult to his memory.

“One of his friends from Littleton Football Club summed it up perfectly when he wrote that Eddie was ‘one of life’s good guys’.

“Despite his depression he was a happy boy and everyone I speak to remembers his smile the most.

“It is such a terrible waste.”