#MensHealthWeek – Avoidable Suicide
Posted on June 12th 2023
As part of International Men’s Health Week this week, we are publishing a series of articles on men’s health topics and providing advice if negligent medical treatment is received.
In the UK one of the largest causes of death for men under 50 is suicide, with men representing three quarters of UK suicides. With a number of external factors being linked to suicidal behaviours the issues surrounding suicide amongst men are highly complex, most commonly having feelings of not being able to open up being a key factor. However, research shows that talking to an organisation like the Samaritans, or healthcare professionals can interrupt suicidal thoughts and help develop management strategies when such thoughts intrude. Sadly, following the COVID-19 pandemic, research carried out by the Samaritans found that the pandemic had exacerbated risk factors and taken a large toll on mental wellbeing.
We are currently acting on behalf of T who sadly lost their partner, who was known to mental health services, after committing suicide.
Our client’s partner was previously a reliable, supportive and cheerful person. He was very career driven and had excelled in his job in recent years before his sad passing. T’s partner presented to their GP with feelings of work-related anxiety, for which he had suffered from for several months, and he was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder and commenced on medication. He continued to work, despite feeling anxious when doing so. After a period of time, and numerous appointments with the GP, feelings of anxiety and depression had not decreased, it was felt by T’s partner that they weren’t getting anywhere with their GP and so they decided to commence private psychiatrist sessions, and at this point contact with the GP ceased.
Sadly, T’s partner attempted to take his life. After a short assessment at A&E he was referred for home treatment. During a meeting with a psychiatrist our client felt that suicidal behaviours were being under played and that a more proactive approach should have been taken. Daily home treatment sessions were received but it was felt that the services providers were not invested in providing treatment and instead simply led to increased feelings of anxiety. Medication was altered with little impact and T’s partner continued to struggle with anxiety and depression.
T’s partner’s care ceased unexpectedly when their private psychiatrist took an expected leave of absence. Despite a history of suicidal ideations they were not listed as a priority and appointments were not rearranged, and subsequently, he was unexpectedly discharged from further home treatment. Sadly, after months of not receiving any appointments at all to discuss his condition, T’s partner took their own life.
If you, or someone you know, believe that you have received negligent mental health treatment then you may have a claim for clinical negligence and our specialist team of solicitors may be able to assist you with your claim.
Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306