Controversial Carsview Centre has come in for more criticism after a barrage of complaints by former patients.
A number of former patients have contacted the Tele following reports of a death at the centre and criticised their treatment.
Now MSP Monica Lennon is calling for a probe into the claims.
She said: “It’s clear that there is something deeply wrong at Carseview and that NHS Tayside is failing to rebuild public trust and confidence in crisis mental health care.”
“These are very serious allegations and the former patients who have come forward should be commended for their courage.
“This is not an easy thing to do and they must get the right support if they decide to formalise their complaints. The Health Secretary wake up to what is happening and take urgent action.”
Meanwhile, two more ex-patients have come forward to voice their concern at the conditions they endured during spells in the centre.
One man, aged 52, from Dundee, said: “There should be some kind of inquiry.
“Are they waiting until someone dies or is seriously hurt before they are going to act?
“I was in Carseview back in 2013 for three weeks after a breakdown and was basically made to feel like a prisoner when I was escorted about the place.
“There seems to be no management structure in place. You get a little brown pill, or a little blue pill to calm you down. But you hardly meet any doctors and after you do then there is no follow up.
“You are like a case study, a guinea pig.
“You are brought in, escorted to your room and then the journey begins down hill.”
He added: “There is no segregation so there are patients who are psychotic mixing with others who are suicidal and others who have had a slight breakdown. It’s not right and it is time someone stepped in and did something about it.
“I actually made an official complaint when all my clothes that had been brought in disappeared. Nobody could find them and I kept complaining and tried to phone them up but they said they were too busy, or I just got fobbed off with emails and nothing much happened.
And another ex-patient from Dundee, a 60-year-old man, said he was admitted four times as a voluntary patient after feeling suicidal.
He said: “I witnessed lots of things going on that were wrong. And one time I saw four male staff who were trained, pinned down a young girl and stick a needle into her thigh.
“There should be a full investigation into what has been going on.”
NHS Tayside said it was unable to comment on individual cases, but urged former patients with complaints to contact them.
In early 2018 the friends and family of Conor Steel were left heartbroken when they learned the 24-year-old had taken his own life.
The Abertay University gaming student had been racked with severe depression for most of his adolescence and adult life.
But despite this it still came as a massive shock to those who knew him when he was found by a friend in his student accommodation in Dundee.
Now his mum, Frances Beck and university friends, are working hard in his name to ensure that no other young person feels so alone again that they feel there is no other way out.
In particular the city charity Feeling Strong, run exclusively by young people for young people is launching its Mind, Body and Goal campaign on January 2nd.
Although aimed at every young person it will be focusing particularly on boys and young men, because they are generally speaking less likely to be open about their mental health problems.
Stephanie Carney, a fourth year student at Abertay, and close friend of Conor is Feeling Strong’s campaign and lobbying lead.
The 23-year-old psychology and counselling student said: “Conor’s death was dreadful.
“It left us all heartbroken. It was at that time that his mum and I decided to do everything we could to provide support for other young people.
“We didn’t know how to go about it initially but in November last year Feeling Strong was developed, led by Brook Marshall.
“We have been involved with many young people ever since and although we couldn’t provide counselling we point people in the right direction.”
Stephanie added: “It’s a very sad fact that young men are much less likely than young women to speak about their mental health worries.
“Our latest campaign is aimed at getting the message across the boys that it is okay to ask for help.
“Conor had tried to ask for help. He did go to the doctor but he was just given medication.
“What he really needed was someone to listen to him.”
Conor’s mum, Frances, said that while she had been aware that her son had gone through many difficult times with depression while growing up she believed that when he came to Dundee to study gaming he had really turned a corner and was happy and felt at home in the city.
“His course was going well and he had made a lot of good, like-minded friends.
“He was the happiest I had ever seen him.”
Frances said that when Conor was at school he was an easy target for bullies with his gentle nature, red hair and glasses.
He struggled through his primary years and things became even worse when he went to secondary school in his hometown in Stewarton in Ayrshire.
While he was in Dundee Conor went to the doctor to talk about his worries.
She said: “He was given medication and when that didn’t work he was given more stronger medication and basically sent away and told to get on with it.
“I have no doubt Conor would have benefited from being educated about mental health and how to effectively cope with that stress.
“His story could have been so very different if he’d had that support at that key stage of his life.
“Had his mental health problems been prevented or had he been given targeted early intervention support, it’s highly unlikely that he would have taken his own life.”
She added: “It’s important for schools to involve children and young people in leading their peers in mental health programmes to encourage them to support each other and help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
“Schools should also embed a system of regularly measuring the levels of wellbeing of the whole school community to identify problems at an early stage.
“Support should be provided by mental health support workers who work within each school community.
“Heartbreakingly, none of this will bring back my son, but it will go a long way in ensuring that the lives of other young people are not so tragically ended.”
A young mum’s bid to bring happiness to someone’s day has had its first major success.
Sophie McCutcheon, 23, from Lochee, struggles with crippling depression and has recently set about helping others in a similar situation.
Just a couple of weeks ago Sophie launched her Love from a Stranger project,
This saw her leaving dozens of inspirational notes around Dundee for those in need.
Now Sophie has spoken out about the first message she has received from a recipient of one of her notes.
The message to Sophie was from someone who also suffers severely from depression.
It said: “I found one of your cards last week. I found it on one of my really bad days.
“I was recently diagnosed with depression and it was nice to know that a stranger who is suffering the same mental health problems as myself and was kind enough to leave something small but it had a big impact on me.
“I’ve kept it in my memory box to look at when I do have a dark day.
“Just to know that there are people out there that care, and that I can get through this..
“So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I took it as a sign from my loved ones up above that I can keep going.”
Sophie said: “It was incredible to receive the message.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this achievement.
“It really warmed my heart to know that I was able to help someone who is in the same situation as my own.
“Something as small as my notes of kindness really can make a difference, and knowing that it did have such a big impact on them is the reason why I am doing this.
“I really hope they can lift the spirits of those who need them.”
Sophie’s project began as a result of her own 10-year battle with depression and anxiety.
She recently began her blog The Devious Mind which she hopes will be her own place of sanctuary that could help others.
Sophie Parkinson was found dead at her home in Liff, near Dundee, in 2014 having taken her own life.
She had been seeking help from local mental health services from the age of seven.
Ruth Moss, mother of the High School of Dundee pupil, blames NHS Tayside for her death and is privately suing the health board in parallel to the inquiry.
A hearing was held at Dundee Sheriff Court today at which lawyers for the Crown, Mrs Moss, NHS Tayside and the High School of Dundee had been expected to agree dates in January for the inquiry to take place.
However, Sheriff Lorna Drummond was asked for more time to call expert witnesses and prepare joint minutes of agreement and matters of dispute so the inquiry proceeds at pace.
Sheriff Drummond chose to set a further preliminary hearing – the third so far – for January 16, and instructed parties to agree witnesses and a timeline of events for that date.
She told the lawyers present: “I want to make sure we get a firm grip of this inquiry.”
Following the hearing, Mrs Moss said: “It has been postponed, but it has been postponed for the right reasons. This absolutely needs to be done right.
“I would like to make sure that everyone has a chance to be heard. If that takes a little bit longer – it does seem like a very long wait – hopefully we will get the answers in the end and there will be some real changes from it as well.
“That’s my hope for the end of it. I have nothing else to say.”
The full inquiry is expected to take place in the spring, over the course of at least five days.
Tay Road Bridge bosses will look again at ways of adding suicide prevention measures to the crossing.
Councillor Stewart Hunter said he was prepared to once more raise concerns with fellow board members over people heading to the bridge in times of crisis.
The move is in response to criticism from mental health campaigner Phil Welsh, whose son Lee took his own life in 2017.
Mr Welsh had accused bridge bosses of putting money before lives, after Tay Road Bridge chairwoman Lynne Short claimed an engineers’ report showed the “cost and inconvenience” of installing barriers was too prohibitive.
Mr Hunter, who preceded Ms Short as chairman, then wrote a letter to the Tele saying that finance “has never been a consideration with regards to adding barriers”.
He said: “The issue is that the bridge cannot support the additional weight and therefore it would compromise the integrity of the structure.”
In a letter to Mr Hunter, Mr Welsh said: “I would like to be provided with the commissioned engineering report which states that barriers cannot be put in place as this may compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.
“I would appreciate that at the next board meeting there is a very specific discussion in regard to what provision can be put in place as a means to deter people in crisis presenting themselves on the wrong side of the walkway.
“A view from engineers will simply not suffice.
“The public is demanding a commissioned survey to determine if remedial work can be carried out to strengthen the bridge, which in turn would enable physical deterrents to be installed.”
Mr Hunter said: “I will raise the issues again at the next meeting of the Tay Bridge Board.”
Statistics released by the Government reveal an increase in the number of under 18s taking their own lives, fuelling calls for bold action.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon: “It is tragic and deeply worrying that so many children and young people have ended their lives in Scotland in recent years. Specialist youth mental health services are badly under-resourced.”
The NHS recently revealed 784 probable suicides in 2018 – a 15% rise compared to the previous years.
In the same twelve month period, suicides among those in the 15-24 age category soared by 50%.
However, these were one year figures and new data published this week drills down even further.
In 2014, ten under 18s completed suicide, but the total has steadily climbed and reached 26 in 2018 – a five year high.
The same information shows a near 25% rise between 2014 and 2018 in suicide among 18-24 year olds, from 59 to 75.
It comes after a Glasgow University study found that one in nine young people in Scotland have attempted suicide and one is six has self-harmed.
In June, it also emerged that the number of young people waiting more than a year for a specialist mental health service had more than trebled within 12 monthS.
Nearly 120 children and young people waited more than 53 weeks to be seen in the first three months of 2019.
Lennon added: “SNP Ministers have been warned repeatedly that vulnerable young people are falling through the cracks.
“Nicola Sturgeon’s government has made good commitments on mental health and suicide prevention; however, warm words are meaningless if education, youth services and the NHS are not getting enough investment.”
Scottish Greens MSP Alison Johnstone said: “It’s absolutely distressing to see suicide among young people at its highest level in five years. Each of these deaths has had a devastating impact on others and the wider community.
“For all the rhetoric on this, we still haven’t shifted the conversation enough onto prevention. The figures on self-harm should act as a warning sign, and we clearly need more early interventions, which would also reduce the pressure on acute services too.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It’s heartbreaking when anyone takes their own life.
“We are working tirelessly with partners to improve mental health services for young people, including those who have considered suicide or been bereaved by it. It is an area that the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group is focusing on and we are working with COSLA to implement their recommendations.
“We are developing new community wellbeing support services, which will initially be for five to 25 year olds.“Actions to improve peer support in schools and teacher training are being worked on, along with 24/7 crisis support for children and young people and their families.“We are also investing in mental health support for students. That will see over 80 additional counsellors in further and higher education over next four years, with £20 million investment.”