Transgender woman’s death was preventable, mother says


The mother of a transgender woman who took her own life said her death was “preventable through access to the right support”.

Alice Litman, 20, had been waiting 1,023 days for gender-inclusive healthcare when she died in Brighton on May 26, 2022, the family said, ahead of an inquest into her death.

Ms Litman was referred to the Gender Identity Development Service and later the Gender Identity Clinic in 2019 because she would turn 18 while on the waiting list, the inquest at the Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove heard.

In a statement read out in court on Monday, her mother, Dr. Caroline Litman: “I don’t want another transgender person to face a future with as much despair as Alice.”

“I don’t want any other parent to spend the rest of their life with their child in a glass on the mantel instead of in their warm embrace.

“I believe Alice’s death was preventable through access to the right support and that change needs to happen.”

The court heard how Ms Litman first told her sister she felt like a woman in September 2018.

Later in 2018, she sought medical attention regarding her gender identity.

Dr. Litman told the court that her daughter had tried to end her life twice before and that her daughter felt like she was in the wrong body.

Ms Litman, who was originally from Surrey but lived in Brighton, was referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Community Mental Health Recovery Service (CMHRS) before she turned 18.

Her mother told the court in a statement: “I felt that CAMHS did not take Alice’s problems seriously enough.

“The CAMHS care team effectively acted as gatekeepers, making it very difficult for Alice to access support that she clearly needed and which she would not have received had her GP not intervened at our urging.”

She added: “The abrupt withdrawal of mental health support when Alice turned 18 also had a huge impact on her.

“It appeared that adult services (CMHRS) did not take her history of self-harm and the impact of gender-related treatment delays on her emotional wellbeing seriously enough.

“The coordination of CMHRS with CAMHS in assessing their needs was, in my opinion, wholly inadequate.

“Alice was suddenly released from care because she did not meet the adult threshold for intervention, despite having been identified as needing support the week before.

“The sudden change between services (and support thresholds) on the day she turned 18 left her alone at a time when she particularly needed help.” Transgender woman’s death was preventable, mother says

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