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SAD: Grandparents Ian and Trish Wright say the family still suffer Kayla's loss every day.

Anorexia patient committed suicide after hospital found no grounds for
The family of a Tauranga teenager who took her own life after being released from mental health care is backing a coroner's recommendation for urgent law changes as a result of her death.

Kayla Wright, 18, had suffered from anorexia nervosa for more than a year when she died in November 2008.

Coroner Wallace Bain says there are heartbreaking similarities between Kayla's death and those of Laurence Otimi and Jeremy Brockbank.

Kayla died after she was discharged from hospital following a mental health assessment found no grounds for compulsory treatment.

Dr Bain said that Kayla's release "simply defies common sense" given that "her history, her health conditions and her state of intentions were clear".

He has written to the Director of Mental Health asking for the definition of a mental disorder to be widened in regards to treatment.

"Any suggestion of an infringement of liberty and personal rights surely has to pale into the background against the primary focus of trying to keep a person well."

Kayla's family, who told the inquest they had relaxed their vigilance before her death because they assumed she would be kept in hospital, were pleased with the coroner's stance.

Kayla, who had attended Tauranga Girls' College, was cared for by her grandparents Ian and Trish Wright, who yesterday spoke publicly about her death for the first time.

Mr Wright said the law change Dr Bain suggested had to happen.

The law should recognise a person's safety over their rights, he said.

"I'm right behind him 100 per cent, because he's assessed it correctly.

"It needs to happen. There need to be some changes, or it will happen again."

Mr Wright said he and his wife had not supported Kayla's early release from hospital but she had wanted to go.

"We had Kayla in situations like this before. There comes a place where you forfeit [personal rights] for your own safety.

"They [the anorexic] can't determine it, someone outside the ailment has to do it because they are in it - of course they are going to say they are okay.

"That was probably the most dangerous time she could have been released."

Mr Wright said the family still suffered Kayla's loss every day.

"We will never get over it. It's left a hole with us, but we get on with it.

"There are times we get triggered and are very sad. Whenever I think of Kayla, my heart is very sad about the whole thing."

Mrs Wright said she supported the coroner's findings and believed Kayla would have been pleased with the outcome.

"It might save some poor struggling person trying to get out of a hole they have got into. Kayla herself would be pleased because she said herself, 'I'm going to fall through the cracks; the doctors aren't going to be able to save me', although I didn't believe it at the time."

Mrs Wright called for better public records of treatment facilities so families could check their success rates.

She said her granddaughter's death was a waste of talent. "She was very beautiful and very clever and was going to be a doctor. She was a very likeable person."

Kayla's aunt Carolyn Gordon hoped that the coroner's report would put the system supporting eating disorder patients under scrutiny.

"The system is not adequate and it's not working. They need to do something and they need to do it quickly, because these kids are worth saving. "It's such a tragedy."

- APN