Facebook can and can’t be great when overcoming the loss of a loved one, On this day sometimes will have a happy reminder a memory a photo, tagged a conversation had and they’ll put a smile on your face, Other days you may get a On thus day reminder that brings a lump too your throat a tear to your eye one wish could erase, one wish could reply too, one if went back in time you could change your attitudes an actions too. 2 years ago today Tim you left a Facebook Message for Mum on my wall saying I’m Sorry and what you we’re Sorry for you weren’t entirely to blame it was Nanna an Grandads Anniversary do you we’re so excited about also very anxious about you we’re struggling with grips of your demons with Mental Health, battling recovery finding your feet. Me, Jay Nat an Robynn holding you at arms lengths constantly judging you stereotyping you we’re probably guilty of been a bit cold, standoffish we were more concerned Nanna an Grandad had a great do than checking you we’re ok. You we’re been bought drink after drink we should have told you Tim enough we didn’t we assumed you’ld been on something not just the drink., I should have remembered alcohol can counteract medications your own and how you were that day was a result of that and not stereotyped you for being on something as it’s only since your death we’d been made aware you were drug free had been a good 10 months so on this day 2 years ago you weren’t on something and when u got loud an Merry with the drink we should have stayed, ensured you got home but we didn’t we left when Nanna an Grandad did you stayed with family an one of neighbours of mum an Nanna’s street they got you drink after drink took you on to another pub somehow u ended up outside mums caused some disruption with your loudness somehow got bundled back into a taxi home you must have gone on fb said I’m sorry Mum on my fb you knew she’d see it their or I’d comment but I sadly didn’t I was stewing with you, I’d judged you assumed you at fault questioned how many more chances we should give an like a child I ignored you didn’t reply an today your on this day post came up an it cut me up because didn’t thing what made harder see was we’d had a meeting with the NHS they’d took into consideration that you we’re off substances an we’re going acknowledge in your report we asked also that staff attitudes that were stigmatising towards those with both mental health and substance misuse be addressed I.E Judgement Free Care because we owed it to you that changed also it was to recognise that you wasn’t the person who’d been wrote off and should have been supported an it recognised the efforts of your recovery journey so Today’s On This Day Today I too was guilty of that behaviour an stereotyped you unfairly I should have stepped up, stepped in cared for your wellbeing not judged or assumed anything about your behaviour should have got u come back to Bradford stayed over a Chinese and you’ld not have had to felt apologise as you’ld have been with us as that event would never of happened outside Mum’s. We’ve a still a long way in finding out the answers why To failings in your care and things be changed but glad today we made one small step they recognised you weren’t on drugs and hadn’t be for awhile I hope in heaven it goes towards me saying Tim I’m Sorry Too and I wish could turn back the clock but know what know now and changed the course of your future thought for you as much do now, believed in you better and pushed for better treatment an care challenged not just professionals towards you but ours too and gave you the love and care you so desperately needed and made you feel worthy and built you up if done that you wouldn’t have felt in end way you did an you wouldn’t have done what you did on that fateful day on the 26th August an you’ld still be here and so Tim Im sorry I too made you feel way did an wish I didn’t have unfairly judged you because you Tim you never did that and in when I too had my own blips you never judged or shunned or stereotyped me you did what we should have done we should have looked out better for you maybe on this day today next year am optimistic we’ll get the answers, lessons will have been learned an my sorry back to you I’ll feel able write but for now I’ll share the comment on my blog an say Tim I’m Sorry Too an I love you always and 4 eva and you know saturdays an extra hard day 4 me an so I hope u can give my princess a kiss and both be with me in spirit x
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.
The buzz word in Mental Health Stigma, we must speak out, we must were it label it lovely smiley faces on twitter at the moment I have Mental Health its ok say have , it’s ok you get help. I salute you for being proud, I salute your optimism, I used be loud, be proud open about my experiences was told was inspiring it boosted my confidence, lifted my self esteem a short lived adrenaline buzz but sadly no changes came were made, society gets an understands stigma are open to help they just don’t know we’re go, were access and get doors opened to care, Joe bloggs on the street does care, does understand I usually knows someone or even they themselves affected by. I don’t engage as much now with speaking out campaigns, wear my label on my sleeve now because I lost my brother to a preventable suicide he had both Mental Health and Substance Misuse he didn’t face stigma from his family or friends it was from the services that were meant to support him those that are now behind twitter campaigns like #I have Mental Health, I saw my brother at times at crisis took him to A and E be told he’s to ask for help is not sat in A n E over 8 hours in height of crisis not asking for help, when did ask for got turned away past from pillar to post, Even when stopped taking drugs was always told “it’s the drugs” it’s the drugs. Never asked him why he ever became an addict, Never explored his childhood upbringing, never asked Why if did ask Why they’d have seen then yes it was because of the Mental Health but they never did they stigmatised because of the substance misuse. My brother was stigmatised because of a Dx he was given Anti Social Personality Disorder the condition shut doors to access to recovery, was probably why assessments for suspected learning disability got passed up, passed up not just one professional that suspected was most who came into contact with him, why did you not do when came to you when spoke out said I’m here I need help, his protector Dennis a doll became his tormentor took his identity offer, the doll got into his head told Tim what do we his family asked for help knew he possibly wasn’t mentally ok even asked for support an help but got turned away. I do have Mental Health needs myself an manage I recognised certain things in my brother, Hearing Voices, Dissociative Identity, Depression, Obsessive an Compulsive Behaviour, self harming because he’d felt lost control needed help was not helped he openly said had but didn’t get so is why know I struggle support an engage with #IhaveMentalHealth. I’m only doing this blog because need rant get my upset, anger, frustrations out I’ve to do that to manage mine so don’t obsess about, get worked up about, have it bring me down and me turn on myself internalise and berate myself for not speaking out an challenging the #IhaveMentalHealth. The angry voice inside me wants say it’s patronising, that those that failed in my brother’s care murdered my brother they didn’t carry it out but nor did they step in an prevent it’s too late now for sorry. Campaigns like #I have Mental health are belittling to individuals and families affected an they’re belittled by the association of the unnecessary use of the word stigma, we must talk about yes stigma led to my brother doing what did but it wasn’t because of lack of understanding but care for all those professionals sharing their photos, retweeting posts ask yourselves why are you sharing, retweeting are you actually as a result of that post go out make a direct action, something that does get help, get changes made and actually stand up make a difference it’s time moved on from speaking out an do for those brave enough do, speak out, do for those who ask for help and on my post look at the photo and do for my brother Tim someone who said #IhaveMentalHealth help me the person whose voice not heard and do for my mum, my siblings an our children who have to live with his loss, live with pain knowing asked for help and enough not done because we don’t want people going through what we are.
I was once optimistic Services would improve and improve for the better initiatives an policies around crisis care, no decisions about me made without me were made the NHS an services were to be Liberated the Recovery Bus, Coproduction Bus and Person Centred Care Bus rolled up into town. Did they make a difference, Did they leave people liberated and will the new 5 year forward initiative make a lasting impact I’m sceptical it won’t because I once believed that Services Could Change Improve Lives, Help individuals Regain Control and put the person an those close to them at the centre and provide a whole person approach attitude to care. I was wrong and my optimism that Services Could do that proved to be fatal. In the last few weeks the media has been highlighting cases were deaths are been investigated and a trust is to be investigated in one case. I’ve discovered that my family is not alone as we too are fighting for answers to how our loved one could have lost his life he did not lose his life however in an inpatient setting he lost his in a transitional housing unit a unit that’s supposed to provide care for vulnerable adults who were in crisis, needed mh support, support with homelessness an substance misuse. We put our loved ones care in the trust of services an the local authority that they would ensure an provide the care an support he needed.
We sadly got it wrong we like many other families now are fighting for answers we’ve had reach out too advocacy support, lodge formal NHS complaints, left outside the serious incident review process yet had our hearts ripped wide opened when had the people running come visit us at my mums family home but yet still no answers no been asked did we want input nor told what they will learn or put in place been sent a document though however that supposedly has in can we sign off on it. How can we if you’ve not sat gone through it with us or had us been involved in any of the process no one can make a decision on something not involved in but shouldn’t we have been after all we’re searching for answers to why, why our loved ones death was not prevented. We had to reach out to a charity Inquest because we didn’t know anything about what to expect, how to be involved the types of inquests and if not for them we wouldn’t have been put in touch with a solicitor an barrister but we’ve had to meet criteria for Legal Aid an that only covered representation to help prepare the case for inquest we then had to apply for separate funding for a grant to have barrister representation at the inquest but yet the Services who failed automatically have the money behind them to represent them but for families they have to search an find that help an that’s sad it’s also sad we don’t get automatically represented as do the services as it’s a live been lost here a life that mattered and a death that should be held accountable for and answers need to be answered how could it have happened and why and was enough done theirs also issue you had a duty of care an families put that trust in you and that is why then you become accountable because that trust was put in you. As a family member I witnessed my loved one passed from pillar to post, told to ask for help an when did told couldn’t help so why tell him ask for, I saw pleas from my family ignored, I saw my loved one slowly become even more invisible, dehumanised, made feel unworthy an in end not listened too, not cared for or supported that’s hard to face an accept especiallly when don’t expect from services that were supposed to be their an provide that. Sadly my loved ones passing won’t be the last an that too is hard to accept because you then wonder what will they learn from the incident report carried out an what will they learn from the impending inquest because sadly my brother won’t be last. I also suspect under the area he came under he was sadly not the only individual failed and probably other families going through what we are too. Whilst awaiting I see initiatives around patient safety, suicide prevention an the new buzz one 5 year forward. Will they make a difference I suspect not it’s just a recycled blue print that for last few years keep rewording add a few more charts an statistics an wow a new policy or charter to follow sadly not worth paper printed out on because sadly lives are continuously been failed, no one been held accountable, no lessons been learned from, their lives not mattering. Services are still been under funded, cuts still been made, workforces at breaking point, charity sector organisations stepping up and lifting the burden from you holding you up their the ones trying the best but are not given the credit for nor do you liase with them and assist in supporting someone you just quickly like pass someone on so not on your case load yet you need to work with them they can’t do it all alone but yet as with families you isolate them too. Crisis Care is shocking too the crisis care concordat act did that make a difference if did my brother would not have been turned away twice an also got in housing were living, but sadly their isn’t enough beds in or out of are, not enough home intervention teams and respite places available an thing we’re my brother lived is only 8 crisis beds available. Wasn’t the crisis care concordat act supposed to address that. Vulnerable individuals languish in police cell’s awaiting mh assessment some end up in the prison system locked up unfairly because at crisis committed offences but because not enough beds professionals say can see unwell but doesn’t warrant admission an so under public nuisance an anti social activity get imprisoned as well as many other offences during my brother’s care that too happened just impeded him further. It makes you wonder why as a society are we allowing that to happen why is the police and judiciary system allowing that are they powerless to act against the services can’t they enforce services to act especially when they clearly know difference between a vulnerable an mentally unwell person an hardened criminal. Why is it that over the years what’s published, guidelines not implemented you’ll tweet about, talk about have development meetings about but not implement, no changes be made and very little service improvement. Yet you market yourselves, give fancy awards, and too have buzz weeks fab change week the latest so what will you do what change an implement will you make what will you do to prevent lives been lost, Will you make your services inclusive to all, stop cutting services that matter, work with organisations lifting you up, will you stop labelling an stigmatising people under your care, will you stop turning people away because don’t fit your Dx an recovery models more importantly support loved ones who’ve lost someone under your care. Families shouldn’t have to fight for answers, set up justice groups an campaigns and have to search an fight for the answers because they need compassion an care an time to grieve they don’t just deserve empathy but also deserve be treated with dignity, respect and upmost of all they need the answers so can grief, hate say have closure an make pretending moving on with life’s easier. It’s also now time ask why in this day an age why are services still continuing to fail an sadly lives been lost.
On social Media I’ve seen people debating Patient Safety in relation to my brother I’ve realised that more could have been done for him and that Patient Safety did not come into his care. To help me come to terms with his passing I’ve to understand an process why and find the solutions to could have what made a difference it is what manages my self care an also putting pen to paper gets my thoughts an ideas out an mapped out. So today while I’ve had an empty house an cleared up house listening to the song that played at the start of my brother’s funeral I listened to the song ” How to Save A Life by the Fray and asked myself that question. I asked myself how Services from a Patient Safety point of View could have saved a Life and been all Tim needed and here’s what I came up with.
1.See me as a Person
2.See my Circumstances
3.Include my family and Friends in my Care
4.All Services needed to work together an not in Isolation
5. Choice an Opportunities
6. The important one Listen When I ask 4 Help
7.Judgement Free Care
8.Check my Records be it Safeguarding,Crisis,Suicide Prevention,Care Plans and Recovery Plans are all up to date, working an implemented an everyone including Me an My Family were made aware off.
9.Take Responsibility Don’t keep passing me to service to service from Pillar to Post.
10. Carry out All assessments
11. Don’t exclude me from Services Because of Labels Attached to Me
12. Support through Major transitions
13 Finally Compassion an Understanding as Human Beings we are all entitled to having that met.
These things don’t seem like much but to my brother they’d have made a big difference and he’d still be here for all those looking at Patient Safety please look at this and ask yourselves could you have been All Tim Needed.
How do you help someone have hope an believe in themselves when they have been wrote of with a Dx of Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
Anti- Social Personality Disorder is defined as sometimes been called Sociopathy, a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right or wrong, ignores the feelings of others, People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonise, manipulate, treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no remorse for their Behaviour.
(Taken from NHS Choices)
Doesn’t make nice reading,, Does not look like a. Dx that someone would get support an help for, Dose not inspire hope for a shot at recovery nor Does it ask the important why an individual may be this way, what factors have contributed to, what’s happened in certain situations, Does not take into consideration an individual may have an Alternative Personality or Part and what if it’s the part that’s the anti-social and not the individuals themselves is it then helpful to give that person a Dx of Anti-Social Personality Disorder. I’d go with a big fat no because you then exclude that person from the right help an support because the Dx gets people wrote off.,
My brother Timothy in his notes had this listed he did not have Anti-Social Personality Disorder he himself wasn’t the things highlighted above. Timothy until became Mentally unwell was hard-working, would help anybody out, do anything for anyone this was what sometimes got him then into trouble he’d accept responsibility for other people’s behaviour and actions that to me showed he understood right an wrong if he could do that, My brother Tim nor was manipulative or treat others harshly, Tim was a protector, a supporter, a friend and amazing big brother, when my son was first born he waited in Leeds city centre after finishing work 6 hours to see his nephew and god son for visiting hours to start because he so desperately wanted see him, my sister who has MS her 2nd child was born on the toilet he was their with my mum on hand to help my mum help look after both my sister an baby and get sorted the ambulance to have them rushed to be checked out doesn’t sound like a sociopath does it, In 2002 I lost a child the day after my little girls passing he was their by my side supporting me through my pain doesn’t sound like someone does he that doesn’t care for others or have no feelings for does it you could probably safely say Timothy did not have Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
Timothy wasn’t perfect nor was he bad he was at times easily manipulated himself and yes easily influenced and yes unfortunately did take drugs but Timothy did not grow up in a perfect background, perfect home, it was far from growing up his childhood was more survival based but that’s for another Time. Also growing up with a father as an Alcoholic probably played a factor in why turned to drugs but that too is a separate debate but also a factor consider, I hate saying too both my brother an I were susceptible to MH as was on our Fathers side of the family and traumas in our lives an how we dealt with led to us both be affected by.
In June/July 2013 my brother Tim went missing an in that time something happened we don’t know what an the Timothy that was found was not Timothy, Timothy had become Dennis, Dennis was not just a doll that he started carrying about, Dennis could be described as the above person the person with the Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Dennis made Tim a danger to himself, Dennis was never an issues Services addressed, took into consideration, Dennis was a part, the voice inside tims head, Dennis had took hold of the individual the person, Timothy. We tried to get services to get help regarding the Dennis part acknowledge it address the voices, address that Tim was Tim no more get him therapy but it was never addressed or acknowledge yet recorded in his notes. We as a family always told Services an his key worker did too when Tim mentions Dennis he’s a risk to himself not other’s not addressing Dennis enabled it to take over Tim so why he never stood a fighting chance.
Tim did try recover, regain control attended Hollybush, Lighthouse, George’s Crypt they describe Tim as Tim was but with a Doll in his man bag, they described him as friendly, helpful, loved getting involved in his art, doing jobs and too was quite liked at times just blend into the group or sit in the corner read his paper. Following his Facebook posts, seeing him at mums he was alive Tim again always tried getting us go down £1 dinner, Robynn would love the gardens were he’d been helping at the kids would enjoy too, This does not sound like someone who was manipulative, dangerous, did not know right from wrong, his worry though about moving from were he was to somewhere new he worried he’d fall through cracks an yes sadly it came true,
A diagnosis of Anti-Social Personality Disorder shut doors to Assessments for Psychological Therapy, Referal to see if he had a Dissociative Identity i.e Dennis, recommendations for Hearing Voices groups, recovery focused groups, shut the door to referral to a rehab and recovery unit to address all his needs, and why so many other assessments never got done, why plans became out dated and why became dependent on the few people who tried.
If you go back an look at how NHS Choices Defines Anti-Social Personality Disorder reflect on how it’s defined what stands out for me Sociopath, Manipulative, not knowing right from wrong sounds like they’re dangerous a risk to others and individuals do get made to feel that imagine if the Dx was wrong and the implications it then will have on a person surely then that has a detrimental impact an potential human right breach when impacts on their lives an sadly that does happen since losing Tim I’ve met people he met on his journey an seen how impacted them an too those people I would say did not have because they’ve carried me through my storm an been a support, a friend and I’m streetwise and an abuse survivour too and have a 6th sense who’s ok an who’s not.
Ask yourself if you saw Anti-Social Personality Disorder on someone’s notes how would you see them, treat them, what help you would give them, if they were at crisis would you realise that help them if they’re not ok, would you even help them but more importantly how you view the Dx and would that influence you.
Antisocial personality disorder potentially labels people off Antisocial personality Disorder should really only be used in extreme cases and as a last resort when gone through every other assessment an diagnosis an no interventions have an impact.
I’m only someone who’s lived experience, I’m someone who was someone’s sister an know am friends with people who have the Dx an if I can see is a harmful Dx one that does not in anyway inspire hope, recovery, regain an control then sureley you should too and turn your back on Dx Anti-Social Personality Disorder an try look for an Alternative too.
More lives will be saved as a result, More individuals will be better supported, No one will fall through the cracks an be turned away for help.