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
On Tuesday the 31st October me and mum we went down to London to attend an NHS event around Learning from Deaths we were attending both days of the conference on the Wednesday with families and on the Thursday with professionals. I was apprehensive about what to expect, apprehensive could I hold my emotions in could I remain calm and could I get the professionals to Listen to understand how they treat my mum at her most vulnerable an in the rawest moment of her Losing Tim they had a duty of care to her to support, to reassure, to be open with her to give her the answers why to why Tim’s death was not prevented when so many Times both he an mum and us as a family reached out for help. Most importantly she wanted be involved in that process of finding out Why, to understand, to input into findings an say what could have be done differently she’s felt she owed that to Tim and she’s wanted do so no other parent had to go through what she was going through. When we first lost Tim we did not blame anyone, want to hold any person or organisation to account nor did we want to go down the Complaints Procedure. But it’s been the way that things were dealt with, how things were handled that led us have to do that, Other the last 2 days it’s been a real eye opener to me I realised that me and mum are not alone and that other families had received equally shocking treatment as us and some were 12, 18, 24 years later still fighting for answers fighting for change for answers to those people you are trually remarkable especially Robbie Powell’s parents and Ann Fighting For answers For her Mum Elsie and Josephine OcLoo your strength, your character, your determination and your resilience I admire because you haven’t give up, you’ve been shockingly treat you’ve not been able mourn, grief, not only have you lost loved ones you’ve lost parts of your lives but you still keep trying to fight for answers an Too still willing be equal partners and work towards wanting the Lesson’s be Learned and it saddens me that the door has not been open for you to do that and that still your not Listened to I hope an I’ll pray one day that happen’s. Melanie Leahy I loved your feistiness at times you were quite but when spoke you spoke with grit, with fight, with spirit an charm an when spoke you hit points home and I hope that you were Listened to I hope promises made to you are followed through with, Angela May’s I thank you for in the workshop we were in telling the professionals why are you not answering her question “what are the barriers” and kicking them up the backside. Other the last 2 days you all have an like include Fiona Bell and Louise Johnstone you have all shown us love, support, compassion an advice on what to do in our Fight For Tim an you showed us we are not Alone in our Fight, Our Stories are Different but still equally same as many other Families their we were shut out at our most vulnerable an not given the oppurtunity to become an important part and be involved in the investigation process and as loved ones you should have been granted that, Joanne ended the day after sharing Jasmine’s story and how the impact of her not been Listened to in the beginning has then been the major influencer to her still not getting the answers but she too had passion an optisim that “Where their is a Willingness their is a Way”. On Wednesday all the families they had that passion, that fire that drive an that Willingness they were not just subjective they were their to bang on that door an To have it opened and too share so Learning could be made and wished on the Thursday more families could have stayed so that the professionals could not just have seen what we’d all compiled an discussed together but felt the spirit that drive and that passion. Because sadly Thursday the atmosphere did feel different it sadly felt cold families questioned would things change would all the families be listened to, would in years come Lessons actually Be Learned or would all the Families be back here again, I know that the professionals that were their were their more to be objective to Learn and not to share but I kinda feel they may have missed out on sharing in that passion that come from Wednesday as Passion is sadly something you can not Learn and if you do not have that passion or share in you may struggle in your desire to change. Olivia Bentley tweeted Last night it was now a huge Job on her shoulder’s it should not be a huge Job it should be a simple and easy one but at the same time I respected her and everyone involved in the Learning from Deaths Board because they did all show care, compassion, spirit, grit and determination they know what needs to happen they have that Willingness to Find a Way they’ve opened that door for them and all the families I hope now Services please Learn because you should not have keep Learning From and also support them, get involved with and change and don’t make a huge Job it shouldn’t have to be but they’ve given you that key to now open the door it’s now time you lift an take away that load and for all the families it’s time Listen an Change.
Other the next few day’s me and mum would reflect on our Fight For Answers For Tim look through his notes check all their, adequate ensure things we want seen our Legal Team an all Parties seen, Well check and read the serious incident report that not involved in and then well maybe look contact the person conducting and if not compiled and published say “Lets start the process and report again but this time you open the door make us equal partners and involve us in every stage even in all the meetings because that’s us wanting be involved that’s us putting our trust into that it’s been done right that’s us showing you we want change but now it’s up to Leeds and West Yorks Primary Foundation Trust to do that so please in Learning Lesson’s since not their these last two days open the door to us make us equal partners let’s Find the answers for Tim Together let’s Learn the Lessons that need be Learned together and then Let us then together make changes, recommendations and structures an process’s in place and that deaths like my brothers are ones that not are Deaths to be Learned from but ones that Prevent future Deaths please do that for me, for my mum but especially do it for my Brother Tim.
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.
Their are times I don’t agree with certain social media movement #tags their are times do and #me too is one of those that do people been empowered to speak out say me too if been a victim of sexual assault or harassment. Anyone regardless of age, sex, sexuality,race,faith,disability is at risk at sometime in their live at risk off.
I have varying Mental Health Diagnosis an all of which I have no choice but self maintain because they are the result of the trauma of been a childhood sexual abuse victim it’s taken me a long time too no longer be ashamed of myself, to no longer feel dirty, to no longer hate myself, I had to learn to love myself see the good in me to be able let my family in to let them love me an me be deserving of that love an me love them back and to trust them let them be apart of my life trust they’ll protect be and be their, I tested them, pushed them away took the pain an anger I felt out on them it took them to say you scare us when you get angry but we know your hurting it’s ok was the big breakthrough needed I didn’t want no longer take my pain out on me and nor them either, I didn’t blame them.
I once got the opportunity to film a portrait of my life sadly my old trust didn’t air or broadcast but that doesn’t bother me because my mum whose also been hurt in the past got to watch and got to see and the girl on the screen me got to tell her I didn’t ever blame you an never did.
Been a victim of childhood sexual abuse continues to impact my life also does my 3 1/2 year old sons life if people pass comment about him, parents judge his behaviour and tell him off have been known turn me from calm mum to psycho mum because in my eyes I perceive as my child’s at risk from harm risk of been hurt the child abuse victim in me goes into survival self destruct and attack mode it’s not nice for me nor people around me experience and in instances I flee just scoop my son up and go but fleeing does me then a greater harm because I then internalise all the anger an frustration onto myself the childhood abuse victim inside me turns on me I’m a coward, why did you run, challenges me and can make me feel then very intimidated and in cases be paranoid and intimidated by others.
As my son gets older he’ll get used to how I am an he’ll get used see how get and he too is at risk of unnecessarily learning survival mode Behaviour I can’t help how I get nor can I help my son learning the person who hurt me though he’s too blame he preyed on me, groomed me an manipulated me destroyed me for a time an my family he’s too blame. Everytime I go into survival mode it’s because I was vulnerable, a child, I couldn’t protect myself, keep myself safe my control was took away and to an extent my abuser still has a hold on me still has some power over me.
Speaking out though gives me some control, some power, gives me strength to speak out and say Me Too and I don’t do for pity I do because I want others that maybe not yet spoken out feel that they can do too because the more people say Me Too the more control and power we can reclaim back, people that have victims can become surviviours no longer blame themselves an be ashamed.
I recently chatted with someone about my abuse they asked me because I’m a Christian does it mean I’ve to forgive my abuser an I told them no it dosent it’s ok to be rightouse about my anger towards my abuser in time I may want to work towards forgiving him but at the moment I don’t as would mean overcoming an working through that trauma an at the moment trying pretend is not their and boxing up is easier, I did tell them though I have had to work on forgiving myself an forgiving myself for the hatred had towards myself, the child abuse victim inside me has had learn to forgive me because a part inside me blamed her but she was defenceless an I see now I couldn’t prevent what happened I can just protect that part now as I do my son, I’ve had to forgive myself for blaming myself, holding myself responsible and for been ashamed of myself and even allowing myself be further sexually exploited when put myself at unnecessary risk from harm when behaved in promiscuous ways because hated myself that much.
Saying Me too and speaking out means I too can take off that burden of shame held onto and used against me an now let go off.
I hope people reading and Too been victims can find strength say Me Too as you’ll see not alone x x x Time to Take your Power Back x x
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.
Today on my Facebook Timehop the pictures of your bench been exhibited at Leeds Art for Recovery Event popped up Tim, I remember during the time my grief felt raw an after I’d got to know Gary, Jon Swales an met your friend Kim at St George’s Crypt and the love she had for you an the journey you were on I knew as a family we had to honour that, recognise that an even say sorry that we didn’t take time see the Recovery Journey you were on, You were quiet, You loved helping make beds up in Crypt, helping out in the kitchen been one of the team, You too enjoyed blending in to the surroundings have a cuppa, meal read your paper you felt safe, welcomed even at home, we met Joe he told us what a good lad you were, wiped away my tears when the guilt hit why didn’t I get see this Tim, We heard all about TCV, Hollybush on clearing your things from that place you didn’t feel home or safe we found the files you kept certificates for various recovery courses, and your pride an Joy the Bench you’ld been working on it was beautiful. We got your Bench finished off a plaque put on, We framed some of your certificates sat them on the bench placed a cushion underneath to kneel on it would be a place sit an remember you by. I remember in my pain also feel excited about exhibiting for you, was nervous too, I remember anticipation Gary finding out if we could exhibit as subject was art for recovery and relief when said ok, I remember when I emailed your bench’s submission. A place to remember you by it honoured your journey, your fight for recovery an would now be a place we’d sit at talk to you as we worked through the devastation of your loss. I remember the day Gary collected for Mum’s I was nervous, prayed be safe in storage, be safe in transit hope people saw our sadness an pain but also our Joy for you, I hoped you’ld be watching down from heaven an beaming our Katie did good and she’s seen I did good too an hope you were smiling because you were an artist an one that was in recovery you were beating your addictions, you were giving something thing back, been a friend you were working your way back up, your Bench, your certificates they demonstrated that I just wished you were their with us as we celebrated and honoured that, I remember the day the exhibit arrived I was nervous, panicked an again excited worried would get their in time. Relieved my friend Gary from church was taking me across from Bradford to Leeds think in the car on the way over talked his head off don’t think he minded though, was lovely see my friend Sue from Church their too. I remember awaiting mum, Nat an Jay arrive was getting nervous would they make in time, also really wanted see your exhibit first before opened up to everyone but remember had wait whilst judging finished hoped they’d got your piece would see the love we had for you. I remember they opened up the exhibit their was a circus themed piece one were put heads in gaps an pic below pictured us do that, by your Bench their was a statue of a deer or horse facing your exhibit if you’ld have been their you’ld have attempted ride it, bargain for it probably would have found away have exhibited at home. I remember seeing your exhibit tucked in the corner , remember sitting an chatting with you couldn’t wait mum, nat an jay get their show them your spot when they came in their sadness an pain they were sombre nat had go early she’d let the guilt overwhelm her in wishing we’d seen your journey sooner and you should have been their wish I’d told her you wouldn’t want see her sad an you knew in your heart we were their and you understood, I wish could have told her felt same an that in away hoping entering your exhibit said that. I however though didn’t chase after her as thought would then be running out on you, your exhibit, your memory. I remember stood awaiting judging your category came up it didn’t win I felt crushed thought why didn’t they see the love for your journey your memory and felt sad for mum wanted floor swallow me up but then one of the judges said they had a prize for someone that epitomised why they were their, the reason why they put the exhibit on for, for the journey of recovery and you won the overall prize I wanted jump up and down scream yes you did it and know yes it was recognised, I remember showing you your certificate, your trophy an telling you wow you did it, I chatted to a few of the fellow artists remember mum n Gary an one of his colleagues an our jay stood chatting by your Bench an about you we all laughed and had same thought about the horse statue an in that moment I looked an smiled at your Bench because their we all were surrounding you an remembering you by. Your trophy know stands by your casket at Mums an your Bench has a place in my bedroom with your certificates on an your best shoes an cushions underneath like have a piece of you too at home with me and each night I tell you I miss you, I love you remind Myles it’s your Bench not his and laugh because your Bench really has become that place, that spot, that piece I will always have remember you by and I laugh because I know your laughing at the sentiment an I know you now know we were proud hope that when I talk to you, you look down and sit beside me and that your with me as I know begin recover from the pain of your passing, I love you forever an not a day goes by don’t miss you, I love you Tim.