Matthew Mackell, a 17-year-old kid from Kent, England, committed himself on May 6, 2020. Prior to his death, Matthew contacted the police emergency line (999) for assistance, however his request was not prioritized and was not followed up on for many hours.
Following his death, his family chastised Kent Police for their handling of the issue and negligence, and asked for improvements in how emergency calls involving mental health are handled. In response, the Kent Police Department made a public apology to Matthew’s family, admitting that they had failed to give him with the necessary help.
Death and Obituary for Matthew Mackell
Matthew was born on April 13, 2003, and died on May 7, 2020. He was laid to rest at Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery. Before committing himself, the kid contacted 999 on May 6, in anguish, stating that he was going to kill himself and requesting that someone be sent to pick him up and rescue him.
Despite patrol teams being available that night, the Year 12 student from Skinners Kent Academy died in Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, in the early hours of May 7. Because Matthew’s call was downgraded from “immediate” to “high” priority as a consequence of the mapping technology identifying his whereabouts to a vast region, no patrol was despatched to seek for him.
Kent Police issued a statement on March 8, 2023, after agreeing to Matthew’s father’s claim: “Each day, Kent Police responds to a significant number of calls from and about individuals of the mass whose lives are in danger and successfully prioritizes the utilization of limited police resources to manage those risks.”
“It is a source of great shame for our police force that we did not uphold the high standards for which we strive.” We extend our sincere condolences to Matthew’s family.” Following the murder of Matthew Mackwell, Kent Police performed an internal assessment of its rules and procedures pertaining to mental health crisis calls, and implemented many adjustments to enhance their response.
These reforms included increasing the number of call handlers who were educated in mental health awareness, developing a mental health triage system, and strengthening communication between call handlers and other emergency agencies.
Why Did Schoolboy Matthew Mackwell Commit Suicide?
Although the actual motive for Matthew Mackwell’s death is unknown, police say he hung up the phone when call handler PSE Amy Hopper returned his stressful phone call.
When she asked for his name, Matthew said he was OK and hung up the phone. Because the communication was tracked to a site near Dunorlan Park, she labelled it “immediate” and transmitted it to the dispatch team, expecting a patrol to be despatched.
Nonetheless, Matthew Mackell’s tragic death has drawn attention to the importance of mental health awareness and the necessity for effective crisis intervention programs to aid people in need. This episode has also spurred important questions about how emergency services may better help those experiencing mental health crises.