Keiligh Baker of the Daily Mail reports:
The parents of a student who took his own life just five days after being released from a psychiatric unit are ‘distraught’ that police and health staff failed to alert them to his mental state.
Henry Curtis-Williams was detained by police under the Mental Health Act after he was seen peering over the top of the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich, Suffolk, on May 11, the day after his 21st birthday.
He is believed to have been assessed by two psychiatrists from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and kept overnight in a mental health unit before being discharged the next day without his parents being told anything.
‘It is just so galling that we were not told anything about the severity of his mental health condition while he was still alive when we could have helped. They all knew that my son had been found on Orwell Bridge and had seen two Consultant Psychiatrists and then a GP in London.
‘These so called professionals should have told us, so we could have looked after him. Instead a policeman came to his mother’s door and told her, ‘Your son is dead’.
‘Why didn’t the police just have a quiet word with us and tell us that we needed to get in touch with him quickly?
‘I was so upset when I spoke to the GP. I asked her why we had not been told and she mentioned something about data protection.
‘I said, ‘What the hell is that all about? I now have a dead son.’ I asked how she felt about it and she said she was devastated.
‘If we had known, I would have got him back to a safe place – my house or his mother’s house – and talked things through with him. I would not have let him out of my sight and neither would his mother, if we had known that he had been found on Orwell Bridge.’
Mr Curtis said that that Henry’s mother had told him: ‘My life has now been destroyed by the failings of these public services.
‘I have lost my only son because of them. I feel sick every day I wake up and have nightmares when I try to sleep at night.
‘Henry made a cry for help that day when he was found on the bridge and everyone let him down, especially local mental health services.
‘They should never have let him go back to London on his own. That makes two lives they have destroyed.
‘How many more lives will be lost before someone will take note and do something about the appalling quality of mental health services for young people’.
Director of Operations for Suffolk at NSFT, Alison Armstrong said: ‘I am very sorry to hear about the sad loss of this young man.
‘I cannot comment on individual cases but if there is anything I can do to support family or friends please do get in touch.’
Why can’t you ‘comment on individual cases’, Alison?
Do you just want to reduce each unexpected death occurring every other day at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to a stream of nameless, faceless statistics? 17 in March, 14 in February, 14 in January?
Twice as many people are dying ‘unexpected deaths’ at NSFT as in 2012-13.
How many more deaths?
Every MP in Norfolk and Suffolk knows about these failures from their constituency casework. It is time for all of you to speak out publicly about the mental health Mid Staffs happening now in Norfolk and Suffolk!
Read the full shocking story in full on the Daily Mail website by clicking on the image below: