Mum of tragic Dundee dad Dale urges others to ‘keep up the fight’

Dale Thomson and mum Mandy McLaren

The mum of a young Dundee dad who took his own life after seeking treatment at the Carseview Centre has called on families in similar situations to “keep fighting”.

Dale Thomson, 28, was treated at the psychiatric unit between January 8 and 10 2015 after concerns were raised about his wellbeing and safety.

The Charleston man had been hearing voices, having paranoid ideas and had tried to take his life days earlier.

The Carseview Centre, beside Ninewells Hospital

He became restless and left the unit on January 10. He was further assessed on January 23 but wasn’t detained and was found dead four days later by his mum Mandy McLaren.

Dale’s death led to a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) taking place — the findings of which are due to be released later this year.

Mandy thanked people for their support during the FAI and also thanked other families who have gone through a similar process to seek justice for their loved ones.

She said: “It has been really hard having to sit through everything and being in limbo for three years.

“You don’t know what to do in the situation. You don’t know how to get the information you need.

“Sitting through the inquiry and hearing them talk about Dale was hard.

“It was about making sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else — there are other people out there who can be helped because of this.”

Dale Thomson

Mandy called on people in similar situations to follow the process through to the end — despite the emotional impact it has had on her and the rest of Dale’s family.

She said: “I would like to thank everyone who has supported my family through the FAI.

“I would also like to say thank you to every family who has fought for change in the mental health system. I know there are families who have fought a lot longer than we have and are still fighting.”

The FAI — which started in May last year — concluded at Dundee Sheriff Court last week.

Submissions were made by lawyers representing Dale’s family, procurator fiscal Steven Quither, medical staff who treated him and the NHS Tayside board.

 

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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CAN YOU HELP? Dundee teen searches for ‘kind cabbie’ who helped rid her of suicidal thoughts

A Dundee teenager who has suffered from severe depression and suicidal thoughts is hoping to track down an inspirational taxi driver who she says turned her life around.

Chloe Wagener, 17, wants to thank the mystery driver who took her home Tuesday morning, having picked her up outside the Corfu Kebabs takeaway in North Lindsay Street at 1.45am.

North Lindsay Street 

The life skills student, from Fintry, said she has been dealing with a number of mental health problems in recent years, including depression and anxiety.

These have been brought on by a number of events in her life such as family bereavements and illnesses, and having been a victim of bullying.

It was an outpouring of all of this to the selfless cabbie, she says, that caused her to have a change of heart.

She said: “We began talking and I just started to tell him about all the things that have been happening in my life.

“He started speaking back to me and said: ‘Do you know something? I’ve been through the same’.

Chloe Wagener

“He gave me really good advice, telling me about what he had been through, telling me I was young and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Chloe said she had made multiple attempts on her own life and had resorted to self-harm. She thinks she has attended the mental health unit at Carseview as many as 10 times in recent years.

However, she said that the taxi driver’s advice had given her a new perspective.

“He said that trying to take your own life wasn’t worth it, saying: ‘What happens if you do end your life, how does that affect other people?’

“It made me realise that if I was to end my life I would be missed a lot.

“He gave me advice that has changed my life.”

Chloe said the driver, who never gave his name, was in his late forties, of Pakistani descent, and had short black hair. He wore black glasses, was clean shaven and had a small mole on his face.

She believes that, in all, the driver spoke with her for about an hour — but was in no rush to send her on her way.

She added: “I’m struggling with a lot every day and I’ve been bullied to the point I lock myself in bathrooms or sit crying in the shower. But him talking to me has put a smile on my face and changed how I’m looking at life.

“It’s helping my depression to shift, and I want to say thank you for that.”

The cabbie’s actions were praised by Wendy Callander, executive director at Dundee Association for Mental Health.

She said: “It’s always encouraging to hear stories where people have just been supportive, and a kind word at the right time can make all the difference for someone who is struggling.”

 

If you know who Chloe’s Good Samaritan is, contact the Tele directly on 575350.

 

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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