Please find below comment from Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, on the issues to be raised in the House of Commons debate today (Thursday, June 14) on mental health care:
“You don’t only need to be suicidal, but in many cases to have taken your own life before the mental health services pull themselves together to find out the history, the needs and the risk that someone with mental illness can pose.
“Time after time we attend inquests and read inquiry reports where suicides, homicides and acute suffering of patients and families could have been prevented had we not exchanged a system which linked inpatient to community care in a consistent and humane way, for teams who often fail to communicate, do not listen to service users and families, and have nowhere to offer a place of sanctuary and protection.
“All too often the cries for help we hear each day are muffled in a welter of bureaucracy and misplaced targets instead of being met by consistent, individual care.
“This debate should prompt an urgent review of the way mental health services are structured, the lack of provision of crisis care before having to involve the police, and of inpatient and realistic community services which encompass the person’s physical and mental ill health.”
For more information, and for an interview with Marjorie Wallace, please contact the SANE media department on 020-7422 5556.