Driving Home For Christmas Chris Rea
8 November 2010, 15:29
A Mum who believes her 13-year-old son hanged himself after experimenting with a 'choking game' has joined a facebook group to try and raise more awareness of it and prevent it happening to other families.
Jo Mison from Ipswich is convinced her son Tyler died in September last year after experimenting with a 'Choking Game'.
She has now joined a facebook group of families who have been affected or anyone wanting to raise awareness of it.
Jo told Heart that she would like more people to support the group and to try and help other parents: "If they listen and they get all the information that they need then the can prevent the death of another child. It's destroyed our life and I certainly don't want another family feeling like this."
She says that speaking with other parents - who have also been affected and are part of the facebook group - has given her support: "Working on the campaign with the other parents has actually given me the strength to push forward and be quite demanding really of people knowing and having the awareness there. And it does help - it certainly doesn't ease the pain - but having a network of support like I have, it does help."
Jo hasn't set up the group herself but she would like more people to join it so awareness can be raised of the 'choking game' and to help other families spot possible signs. She says it was set up by families in America but she would like more awareness raised in the UK. She's been doing her own campaigning as well.
An inquest into Tyler's death last month recorded an open verdict following a hearing in Ipswich.
Police said they could find no clues to indicate why Tyler had hanged himself and no evidence he had been playing a ``choking game''. However, Coroner Dr Dean said the possibility of ``some form of high-risk game experimentation'' could not be excluded.
Speaking after the inquest, Jo Mison said she had conducted private research after Tyler's death and was sure he had been trying ``the choking game'' -which, she said, young people played to give themselves a ``high'', the inquest heard. She said in the weeks before his death Tyler had bloodshot eyes, headaches and marks on his neck. She said she had thought nothing of them at the time but with hindsight felt that they were classic signs of ``choking'' game experiments.
She said she quickly found details of the ``game'' on the internet and wanted to highlight the risks. ``I am 100% sure that is what he was doing,'' she said, after the inquest. ``I would say 90% of the signs were there - although I didn't think anything at the time.''
She added: ``I had never heard of 'the choking game' before. I don't think parents in Britain have. But it is well-known in America and you can find it on the internet. It is just like doing drugs. It gives kids a 'high'. I think teachers, parents, anyone who works with children should be made aware of the signs and the dangers.''
Organisations including the British Youth Council and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said they were unaware of the ``game''.
However, groups in America are raising concerns on the internet. An organisation called Radical Parenting also has warnings on its website.