I lost my brother to a preventable suicide he fell through the cracks systemic failures by the trust an social care team under and the supported housing team were he lived. It’s the worst way to lose someone you can never prepare for, comprehend an understand why. I lost a baby born still born in 2002 I knew she was to be born stillborn due to severe spina bifida an hydrocephalus I knew as she took her last breath I’d hold her in my arms I’d kiss her on the head and I’d say goodbye, I lost my Grandad back in February 2017 I called in on the Morning of the Day he died to the hospital the Doctor told me that day when my Nanna came in they’d be stopping his medicine, taking his oxygen away he was getting put on an end of life Pathway, I went up to my mums saw my nanna an held her told her prepare for worst, I went to lighthouse academy my friends held me up, prayed with me I was preparing say goodbye. That night I went back to the hospital treatment had been stopped, as many family members as could were contacted, notified mad dashes to the hospital, he was surrounded by family held he was not in pain nor alone I got to say goodbye even though I wasn’t ready. Nothing can prepare you when you lose a loved one to Suicide because you can’t see it coming, you don’t expect if you knew or had a chance you’ld do everything in your power to stop from happening. This week I read in our legal teams argument for Article 2 systemic failings led to the events of my brother’s preventable suicide , I read that my brother had already passed when the paramedics got too him and probably had been a no of hours it breaks my heart to know he was lost, alone an in his final hours an until found had died that way. I wasn’t their to hold him, my mum didn’t get hold him even though an adult was her baby she did didn’t get that chance like I did with my baby somehow prepare an be their and like with grandad we knew we all surrounded wrapped round him he’ll have felt an known was loved I hate the feeling that losing my brother to a preventable suicide has done I hate knowing he may have felt unloved, unworthy, uncared for because he was. Losing a loved one to suicide is not only their lives lost but also part of you, your family dies too it feels strange, unnatural, not right, it’s broken, fractured, damaged your heart, the heart of your family dies too you get swamped into a dark hole, dark skies descend over all you know, life, joy gets zapped from you. I hate that I didn’t know, didn’t get chance stop, didnt get hold my hand out pull him back, I hate that I didn’t get say goodbye I hate that I don’t get angry at him, I hate that I can’t ask him why, I hate that I can’t bring myself to hate those who failed him, I hate I don’t have an axe to grind I hate that I want to give them a chance to learn lessons from his death I hate it’s been me, my family who held out that olive branch and I hate that they’re reluctant too take I hate that I can’t hate them want give them a chance I don’t understand why because they robbed me of my brother, my best friend , I want scream, yell call them murderers because of their systemic failings but I can’t because I know he deserves more, I know I’ve to give those a chance who failed him, I’ve to fight the legal system for article 2 to make his life matter, his memory, his life be remembered, he be remembered as someone who deserved help, be supported, cared for, a life worth saving and him not be just another life sadly lost to suicide, him not be a statitistic because he was worth more than that. Losing a loved one sadly to a preventable suicide flips your world upside down an know all can do is try make sense off and fit the jigsaw puzzle pieces together that led to that day to understand why and then with that completed puzzle find a way grieve, mourn say goodbye an try prevent someone else from sadly taking their live, give those that failed ideas to come up with pathways, measures to build safety nets to try ensure dosent happen again, I don’t have anyone can go to that can talk to about so I share my feelings here in my blog I know people struggle to talk to you about, ask how help, I know because I struggle with too. I hope that people reading who are in same place my brother was would contact me so I can help you so you don’t do what my brother did as you are worth more than that, for those that have lost a loved one to suicide to feel free contact me you are not alone it may feel it but I know the pain you feeling I feel it too, to Services, councils, NHS trusts social care providers that want make a difference to people affected by addiction, mental health and homelessness and put mental health on their patient safety strategies or looking at suicide prevention of people society turns their back on we’re culture around people with combined needs or are seen as unsafeable or attitudes around personality disorders needs challenging or your pathways not inclusive your not getting everyone on one or you need improve your community contact me if you genuinely want learn knock on my door because like I said lives like my brother’s matter let’s work together an make a difference I can’t bring him back but his memory, story can help save life’s.
Depression is horrible it’s a debilitating disease that squeases the life out of you keeps you trapped in the darkest places of your mind, takes the spirit an life out of everyday moments, in extreme cases murders those you love forces an pushes them into doing something stupid wreckless as they fight try find away out, Depression is like a prison sentence when things not too bad you get time out from like good behaviour but then smack something happens your hurled back into that darkened cell in the back of your head trapped , surrounded engulfed by misery, pain, desperation, inability cope, intense anger as you struggle and fight through. Depression isn’t just an invisible one but it’s a lonely one too people can’t see depression nor do people want or try see. People don’t spot when friends or family disappear become distant and you drop of the radar don’t stop by and ask are you ok, People don’t see past the charade the pretence that everything’s ok , people don’t see the bags under your eyes , don’t see the pain an fatique of the weight of the world crushing down on you theirs no hand of support their to help you up, no one their to lighten the load, Depression is a tormentor abuser it plays with your mind construes your thoughts makes you paranoid throws you into a spin cycle of thoughts that take over an drain you and drench’s you. Depression people don’t see nor understand people don’t get depressed your expected snap out of, move on so you pretend , you act you paint a fake picture alls ok still whilst slowly fading away into the distance life stopping for you but continually moves forwards for others you stumble n trip and sink trying keep up and I understand now why some give up because it’s tough it can get too much to keep on battling, keep on fighting, keep on trying for me I have no choice try battle an fight through because depression to is a curse it dosent disappear when you go you wherever maybe, maybe free but those you leave behind they struggle see, understand carry the weight off and depression sneakily sneaks in whilst their vulnerable and off guard it’s how it’s snuck in for me this time round pain and grief and anger at losing a loved one to a preventable suicide shrouded and engulfed me and has me trapped and I wouldn’t want pass that curse on so I’ll battle an fight with it I’ve beat it once I’ll try beat it once more the child snoozing next to me oblivious am awake at daft o’clock in the morning needs me to he’s to young to understand and see but to a point knows his Mummy’s been sad and when she’s upset thinks is his fault an asks Mummy are you my friend, the guilt of having depression then engulfs you don’t want your child seeing or sensing or feeling that so when they can’t see you try process an unravel the pain your feeling and untangle the mess inside your head be good have a pause button take a rest an break from but it’s depression it dosent make life easy. I can choose to live in hope though and hope I find away fight through and that I break through the prison of can get a hold off an my life back on track, can try find solutions, plans break through the core that’s keeping me trapped only you that is trapped by depression can break free from because people don’t see those chains wrapped round you an can’t pass you the key to release you from to all those that are battling with though we see and hopefully by speaking about people will start to see an start to help remove the chains that have kept us held and dragged back but until then know you are not alone we all at some point or time wrestle with an battle with an so you are not alone in your fight with x x x x x
Yesterday me and my Mum met with our Solicitor regarding Tim’s Inquest was that the Coroner did not overturn his decision on Article 2 and disclosure was because my brother’s death was classed as been in the community regardless of the fact of him living in Mental Health Supported Housing, apparently Tims Death is a grey area in eyes of Law because he’d not been sectioned or detained he was not classed as immediate risk, he went for help on Monday was seen at A n E but because didn’t come out an Say “I’m Suicidal, I’m going to harm myself, End my life was reason why did not get admitted, I in the past have felt torn one hand want fight my demons on other want give up I also no at times felt want give up wouldn’t tell anyone what my intentions were, fact he’d taken a minor OD suggested he was at some element of risk , the fact 2 days prior reached out again saw his GP and his GP only offering Tea an Biscuits should have again highlighted needed help, highlighted again was a risk but because in the community the grey area he had capacity make choice did, if admitted to hospital till his key worker who became dependant on may have kept him alive, kept him hate say safe because he’d have been took away from what his stressor obsessing about his housing, finances,benefits,low self worth due been unemployed and his death would have been prevented if detained because not detained he stayed been at immediate risk, regardless been in the community, been in hospital the fact remains he was not mentally ok an that meant he was at immediate risk, I’m saddened the coroner didn’t grant because he has all the evidence their say was immediate risk but because 12 months outdated and not reviewed by those who were supposed to coroner has assumption then not an immediate risk, he at that period was , he was for the last 2 1/2 years of his life was an immediate risk an never stopped been adequate an a up to date review would have proved that but wasn’t and why arguing failed in his care it saddens me that powers that are responsible and their actions are now impacting on the legality’s and imposing further on our fight for answers why, we only want answers why to mourn, to heal, so lessons can be learned other families don’t feel our pain, people like Tim be saved, it saddens me more that if wasn’t for Legal Aid funding we wouldn’t have got this far, we’ve to hope now we can get continued funding to take to Judicial review and potentially try bring about new case law and get Article 2 be granted and it’s a fight we want to fight for , the services that were responsible , the ones with all the answers, one who not engaging with us as the family the state has an unlimited money pot for their legal army, talk about them having the unlimited power an control, we as a family should not be saddened, worrying about now the If and If get funding all families who’ve lost a loved an have go through the inquest process should automatically be funded more so when is the state going up against an for us that’s the NHS an local council we’re does anyone get the money to take them on to get the answers, the justice for lessons be learned and I can only pray, hope, wish funding continues if not I don’t know what we’ll do next I only no we won’t be throwing towel in, well come out fighting that bit more.
After what was a shit morning we did however still remain optimistic, plodded on with our day still continued with wanting support NHS England with their Learning From Deaths work and headed down to Quarry house in Leeds to feed into preparations for attending an event in WestMinister to continue an drive the work forward I must admit I took my tension from the morning out on the taxi driver so was composed when went in, sorry to the roadrunners taxi driver, were still optimistic as a family we can try ensure families not treated in same we’ve been , we’re still optimistic we can make something good to come from something terrible, we’re hopeful to that at the event we can be matched with the trust that failed Tim so we can demonstrate that families can work together with them an hope that they see after the event is important to meet with us as a family start the process again work with us to understand the why’s the if’s and importantly us work together on what could have been done differently an would have potentially prevented Tim’s death an hopefully us work with them to prevent deaths like Tims so deaths like his don’t become grey areas and so can only hope too as we continue fight for an Article 2 Inquest that in meantime we can work with the trust and lessons from his death be learned,
As a family we’ve tried be compassionate, empathetic an understanding with the Trust tried listen to potential excuses why failings, funding, staff shortages, difficulty getting access to certain services an continually try engage with them so why’s it hard for them do that as fundamentally they should do that, it’s not them that’s facing pain an heartache we are an should be us not them had choice hide behind closed doors because not ready face but we’ve no choice we have to face to fight and so Tim for you we will continue to do so.
Last night I was emailed by National Mind as one of their campaigners to submit to them a 20 word tweet that they would tweet today as part of their campaign to stop the #MHCuts and #protectthe #NHS. Today at same time am enroute to London to work with the Royal College of Psychiatry as a service User an Carer board member to their conference as they look at the five year forward and community mental health transformation Pathway and sadly the start of today feels bittersweet an bleak as with every will in the way even with the most passionate people their an even with every bit of negative stories shared to learn from an even stories of good practice that could be implemented service users, carers, family members an 3rd sector, social care and statutory services will be still up against and the money needs to be their, Funding needs to be made available to many lives are currently either been failed or lost due to failings in Mental Health Care, My brother sadly has been one of those lives been lost when he sadly lost his live people did say more needed to be done for Mental Health Services that their was long waiting times, difficulty accessing services, not enough acccess to regular contact with professionals overseeing care, unable access therapy, crisis care an specialised support an at time wasn’t ready listen to that as an excuse or factor in my brother’s death as in today’s society we should be able provide adequate care, funding should be their and so why isn’t it why did our government help assist in my brother taking his own life where were they were was the money that should have got him a bed at a specialist my rehab an recovery unit as it was down to their been a 2 year waiting list and funding why when he an us as a family were turned down for when he first presented needing help, were was our govt when he was unfairly detained in prison due to a mh breakdown an no beds available for him a judge would of spared him that if their had been a bed available for him, my brother thought so hard to recover but he was always up against it passed from service to service, no regular community mental health or social care support became lost in a system designed to protect people, I could stay bitter an hate the system but it does me or my family nor my brother’s memory any good we can only fight for change campaign for and use my brother’s story his memory to ensure no other family goes through what we do, its heart wrenching, gut wrenching an mum I know you’ll read so sorry if upsets you but it is soul destroying knowing your loved one died feeling alone an that apart from his family no one cared for him and that he was made feel that an that no one was going to help him and that after 21/2 years felt exhausted every Avenue and in desperation did something stupid and sadly it cost him his life an it breaks my heart he died alone in a place supposed to be providing him support an care an supposedly their just be funded be private landlords as a sister feeling that pain is unbearable so I ask if on twitter please copy an share my tweet ” My brother’s suicide could have been prevented if had access to specialised support deaths like his can be prevented stop mh cuts. include my name . @KatieAnnSiobhan and share my blog and #Do4Tim #StoptheMHCuts my family and I can’t so Teresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Hunt, The Chief exec of NHS England were’s they money gone, where’s the money to fund #mhcare if don’t provide an deliver sadly more lives will be lost in memory of my brother please don’t let that happen.
On the 26th August 2016 my life as I knew it stopped, yet the world still continued to move and time did not stop, On the morning of the 26th I woke with a 101 things needed an wanted to do planned phone my sister see if she needed me go back across an see her and help sort out her housing issues, I have a big mouth an person in my family known shout and get people heard, catch up around the house , try do something fun with my son, knew I had to phone my brother Timothy check up on if he was ok as had a missed call the day before upset and pleading for help that voicemail will now forever haunt me. Even though I knew I wanted phone my brother for some reason I kept dawdling putting off when woke was telling myself will do but first Katie need sort Myles. Whilst Myles managed was having his breakfast I thought I’d take 5 have my coffee then phone Tim my mobile rang it was my Nanna’s number that came up for a moment before answering in my heart I prayed my grandad was ok as part of me thought she was phoning about him. Nothing could prepare me for me for what she said I won’t fully divulge the full details but enough just to say my brother had taken his own life, I’m not sure if was because didn’t hear her say first time or because zoned out to what she was saying or stupidly didn’t know how respond to but I had to ask her repeat what she said the first time and it was then in that moment that instant I knew my brother an best friend had gone an From that moment on life changed for a long time for me life has stopped even though is moving around past me but me for me the world stopped that day as I’ve not wanted move on nor ready to I struggle accept Tim’s gone not ready face that harsh reality an reality of why I convince myself he’s busy he’s happy but he’s ok I suppose they’re the things I like believe he has found in Heaven. I don’t view my friendships, my relationships in the same way as I used to I don’t seem bothered for idle gossip, coffee an play date catch ups and selfishly no interest in other people’s life’s as am purely focused now on protecting my own little family unit an that of my immediate family my mum, my brother, my sisters an our children I feel I owe it them play big bro and big sis and I owe it Tim to keep his memory alive. We don’t call the actions Tim took as Suicide as we see it his death could have been prevented the 21/2 years leading up to that date showed my brother’s fight for Recovery to be him again he reached out so many times asking for help us as a family did too spent many a night with him in a and e as did the local police force taking him down to be assessed but time and time again even when free from still ignored his Mental Health needs and blamed the drugs or the things he was obsessing over and paranoid about were social matters and couldn’t help yes you could because they’d took over his Mental Functioning he became tormented by a doll that he first thought was his protector but then it took hold an control it spoke to him, bullied him and controlled him to point morphed into that persona but apparently that too got overlooked he engaged with volunteering wanted go back to work, wanted a place call home, wanted feel human again most importantly he wanted be Tim again an he did fight so hard to have that but sadly he became to dependant on one key worker and probably dependant on Crypt an lighthouse his safe space became sanctuary and his bubble. Services sadly enabled that too happen they didn’t take him on their recovery bus help him with his Self Care, identify an address his triggers what to do when crisis hit an were to go when needed help but yet at crisis told him he had to ask for I used to thing they were either a) blindly ignorant orb) extremely stupid as he’s here can’t you see him he’s asking I can see, I can hear why not you. Right up until the day he died he was screaming for help I’ll never understand why when he was taken to a and e why never admitted, never understand neither why his gp only offered him coffee an biscuits you saw he was broken why didn’t you get him help. Where he was living they advertised provided crisis an respite support and will never understand why they didn’t offer him an nor will I accept that they’re not partly accountable as how can you just be private landlords if we’re he was living was under assessment an classed as a transitional home a place supporting people with needs like Tims is probably why I don’t accept is Suicide as because I know more could have been done an I know Tim I know the act he carried out he did was because most drastic the one that would get them really see he was screaming out for help also I suppose I don’t call suicide because I’m not ready accept he didn’t want to be hear no more, not ready accept he wanted to leave us and nor ready accept it was his Time. They’res loads been spoken of at the moment about suicide an zero alliance a zero attitude to suicide I kind of feel that doesn’t relate to my brother as he and the family knew the signs even told people providing Tims care what look out for an when he was in extreme distress he wasn’t a danger to others but himself, Tim also had suspected LD was a recovering addict around 12 months free of substance misuse he was also someone who ended up past from pillar to post and a vulnerable adult and was known to services an should have been supported I feel that the zero alliance is looking at suicide prevention from people that are not known so what do you do for people that are known an how do you help them an how do you help families like mine come to terms an face the harsh reality they’ve lost a loved one to suicide so for the time being ill fight for answers for him, try make Services work better to support people like him, I’ll keep his memory alive an I’ll keep campaigning more should have been done an I’ll continue shout his death was not suicide but a preventable one an ill do that for him in the hope others do not become lost and that through him others maybe found an that people like him they’re lives are made to matter an not tossed to one side an so that people like him have the oppurtunities to be a part of society, be human again but most importantly be a person as Tim he just wanted be Tim again x
The fight for answers for Tim got made harder this week on Thursday I met with our solicitor to sign and complete my compiled witness Statement and when got their she informed me article 2 was turned down by the coroner, The local council involved in my brother’s care who had no involvement with us as a family since his death an became persons of interest at this late stage an handed their submissions in late stage have come in an took temporarily control. I ask myself why an how can they do this how can one small loophole have that decision potentially took of the table, what is they are preventing not get out, what is they’re wanting to hide, I’ve asked myself do local councils have some form of power an influence over them an can they control what coroner’s can an can not do. I was hurt an angry and livid inside more so till a plan of action was formulated on how solicitor an barrister could address to not tell my mum, That was hard not telling her as after all were fighting for answers for my brother, her son. It was hard not going to her because I was upset and wanted her tell me all would be ockay and the solicitor was asking me wait so when came up with a plan of action would make it all ok. Losing article 2 means we’ve not lost means we’ve got to fight that bit harder and as a family just wanting answers it’s not fair made to fight to get that because we are not able to mourn, to grieve, inquests are lengthy, drawn out and not easy face an 14 months on it’s still been thought out what kind of inquest will be an what scope an what will be disclosed it’s not fair on families and parties of interest should always be thinking of the families but in our situation I’ve learned they don’t nor make the process easier, I have trust in our solicitor an barrister that what they’re planning to do should get the decision overturned and I’m sorry god I handed it over to you I won’t be this time in my prayers and look what’s happened my family still no were near finding peace, I will however continue have faith in our legal team as they know what they’re doing, they too believe in our families fight for answers if not for them we wouldn’t be at this point we’d, have probably given up let those with the Power an answers win and my brother’s failings. Be swept under the carpet but because we’ve a good Team we’re not well use our upset, our hurt and anger to come out fighting once more an we put that hope an faith in the legal team supporting us do that and the local council may have this round but their is a long way to go and decisions can be changed and hoping that it’s changed again soon. For families in similar situations to mine my heart goes out to you because it is hard an we don’t have anywhere go to, turn to we just have to try best fight on an carry on and it’s not easy but we do because the loved one we lost was a live that mattered something the coroner an other representatives an parties of interest seem to forget.
Mental Health Positive Practice Awards the biggest insult to individuals an families affected by especially to loved ones who’ve lost a loved one due failings in services and are having to fight for answers why, one of this years shortlisted entrants at her old trust did great things but is know at a new trust been their just over a year started a few weeks after my loved ones passing that trust have never behaved in away that’s worthy of positive practice towards my brother or my family but yet celebrated in the accoloade of the nomination they were a trust that demonstrated positive practice, I’d like ask then is positive practice sending a stranger to someone’s home no involvement in the care of the person who coming say sorry for their death is positive practice, is giving a grieving mother an siblings a book about bereavement positive practice is telling them the trusts going to carry out a serious incident review but I’m not involved in positive practice, Is positive practice telling a grieving mum who trying fit the pieces of a jigsaw together to find answers why that she can’t have her dead son’s medical notes because she didn’t have power of Attorney positive practice, is not having no direct contact or email address an having ring every dept within your trust to find the named professional handling the serious incident review positive practice, is it positive practice to then get handle the families complaint as well as the incident review, is it positive practice to give to someone who new post the task for them to meet the family but then decide can’t do and ok pass someone else, is it then ok then that person rush do an compile an apparently get loads of changes made coincidently the month report compiled an no family involvement positive practice and then except a mum say’s ok but yet not gone an discussed with her just sent her an her advocate through the post positive practice, is positive practice having a complaint drag on not resolved one that didn’t need be made if supported an work with the mother and family through their grieve an give them answers looking for positive practice. The nominee maybe worthy of their award but please don’t let the trust be part of that accolade and say their a trust that demonstrates positive practice because that just causes further hurt an pain an upset to families like mine especially when complaints still ongoing, answers still not given an now in the legal domain an why not named the trust that’s going to take credit for been a positive practice provider an I’ve to sit bite my tounge an stay stronger even pray an hand that upset to god an ask for peace in hope my mum gets the answers looking for so she can one day be able start to mourn an grieve her son but the why’s and how could happen and why not helped put the brick wall up an barrier to mourning up because till you can comprehend the why it’s a case then you can’t and I hate seeing my mum have to fight try be strong an worry about her not been able mourn an what will happen when she gets the answers is that positive practice have a family stuck in their grief unable mourn especially when you hold that power to answer but choose not to because saying sorry for the failings means accepting accountability positive practice. It’s also to individuals that live with mental health an access services an insult them theirs positive practice awards you shouldn’t need awards to make your staff be compassionate, challenge the way things work, initiatives should come from wanting to do through Listening an working with individuals an common sense not coproduction an through caring an isn’t caring why you signed up to the job, to make a difference an isn’t it what your their supposed to do anyway an what to your fellow colleagues an departments who want do great an positive things but are hit by staff shortages, high demands to access services, working out on the margins when hit by service cut right back an try make a difference an to them positive practice is risking burnout as they go extra mile supporting someone with complex needs go unnoticed acceptable not really because what they do goes over looked by things like positive practice awards but yet shouldn’t and they don’t care don’t get credit they’re just doing what signed up for their job, To all at the positive practice awards enjoy but to the trusts going share in ask do you really dare share in that accolade and also ask yourselves if it’s prestige an awards and accolades your driving force to ensure you get job done ask yourselves why, and remind yourselves individuals and families expect to be treat with care, with dignity, be listened to with compassion they’re not desirable criteria for positive practice it’s why you should be doing the job and providing the service you provide.