Call for new crisis centre in Dundee to help folk thinking about suicide

Lesley Nicoll and Phil Welsh — the parents of Lee Welsh — next to a mural in his memory.

New figures have revealed that almost three quarters of all suicides in Dundee were among men.

The latest statistics released by the NHS show that there were a total of 147 suicides in Dundee between 2009 and 2015, of which 109 were men.

The figures also show that the majority of men who committed suicide in the city were employed in senior positions, such as managers, while 43% of men who committed suicide were unemployed, disabled or living off their own means.

One Dundee dad who knows only too well the devastation and heartbreak caused by suicide is Phil Welsh.

Lee Welsh, 27, of the city’s West End, took his own life in August, leaving his friends and family devastated. Phil  called for a crisis centre — similar to one in Edinburgh, which is open 24/7 and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis — to be set up in Dundee.

Phil told the Evening Telegraph: “Not until Lee died did I appreciate just how many men took their own lives.

“Lee’s death left our family heartbroken and we’re doing everything we can to stop this happening to other families.

“We would like to see a crisis centre set up in Dundee similar to the one in Edinburgh where people who feel suicidal can turn.”

The Tele previously told that Lee had battled mental health issues for almost a decade prior to his death.

Lee’s suicide prompted his parents to campaign for more action to help people with similar issues and following his death, the website Not in Vain for Lee was established.

He said: “If through this focus we can prevent one family from enduring the heartache we as a family are currently suffering, then Lee’s death will not have been in vain.”

Rob Burns, development manager of Dundee’s mental health service the Hearing Voices Network, said that the figures relating to men did not surprise him.

Mr Burns said men who have taken their own lives may not have spoken to anyone about the issues they are experiencing.

He added: “It is really quite frightening the number of people who take their own lives.

“We are very aware that up until now men have not been as willing to come forward to talk about their mental issues or other things that are concerning them as women have been.

“I would think the men in Dundee who have taken their own lives have not previously spoken to anyone about their concerns.

“We are currently doing a lot of work to get men to open up, including taking on more male volunteer supporters.”

The majority of men — 64% — who took their own lives were also single, compared to just over 18% who were married or in a civil relationship.

The figures also revealed that 36 suicides took place within five years of discharge from a mental health service.

While 22 — 15% — of all suicides occurred within 12 months of the person being discharged from a mental health service.

The stats also reveal that more than 87% of people were taking antidepressants at the time of death, while 44.6% were on drugs used in psychoses and related disorders.

The figures follow recent reports that Dundee’s suicide rate is at its highest in 21 years.

A total of 37 people took their lives in 2016 — more than three every month.

n If you feel suicidal, or just need someone to talk to, volunteers at the Samaritans are on hand to help 24 hours a day.

Contact them by calling 116123, or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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Scots NHS patients face ‘unacceptable’ mental health care.

“Almost half of Scots receiving mental health treatment on the NHS have endured an “unacceptable quality” of care, new research indicates. Lengthy waits of months for suicidal Scots and patients being advised to “pay privately” for treatment are among the cases recorded in a survey by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).”

Read the full article in The Scotsman here 

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Mental Health Service Redesign   

From Phil – Please read below. if anyone is free to pop along to the steeple church on Wednesday the 13th September to offer their views and opinion re mental health this would be very helpful and appreciated. Again if you could share this on your social media it would be appreciated ty. 


Mental Health Service Redesign   

Transformation Programme

Update

Issue 5, August 2017

NHS Tayside is redesigning Adult Mental Health Inpatient
Services and Learning Disability Inpatient Services as part
of its Mental Health Services Redesign Transformation Programme.

 

Consultation events

People have been sharing their views during the first six weeks of the public consultation on proposals to move to a single site for General Adult Psychiatry (GAP) acute admissions at Carseview Centre in Dundee and a single site for Learning Disability (LD) services at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.  The option has already been presented to NHS Tayside committees, Tayside NHS Board, and Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus Integration Joint Boards.

 

The consultation will run until Wednesday 4 October 2017, during which time the programme team is gathering views and feedback from service users, carers, staff and members of the public.  All views will be included in a final report with recommendations for the new service model, which will be presented back to the NHS Tayside and Integration Joint Boards before Perth & Kinross Integration Joint Board makes a final decision.

 

A series of public consultation events will be held across Tayside in September which will offer an opportunity to give views on the proposals.

 

  • Monday 4 September, 4-6pm, St Andrews Church, Hamilton Green, Arbroath
  • Tuesday 5 September, 2-5pm, Montrose YMCA, 98 Murray Street, Montrose
  • Thursday 7 September, 11am-2.30pm, Kirriemuir Town Hall, Reform Street, Kirriemuir
  • Monday 11 September, 2-6pm, Gannochy Suite, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth
  • Tuesday 12 September, 11am-2.30pm, Strathearn Artspace, 6 Comrie Street, Crieff
  • Wednesday 13 September, 2-6pm, The Steeple, Nethergate, Dundee
  • Thursday 14 September, 2-5pm, Blairgowrie Town Hall, Brown Street, Blairgowrie
  • Monday 18 September, 11am-2pm, Pitlochry Town Hall, West Moulin Road, Pitlochry
  • Wednesday 20 September, 11am-2.30pm, Auchterarder Community Church, High Street, Auchterarder
  • Thursday 21 September, 11am-2.30pm, Loch Leven Community Campus, The Muirs, Kinross

 

Information about the proposed option and an online questionnaire are available on the consultation website www.taysidementalhealthredesign.scot.nhs.uk.  People can also email mhldredesign.tayside@nhs.net, call Freephone 0800 7836 110 or write to Public Involvement, Tayside NHS Board, Freepost SCO 6181, Dundee, DD3 8ZR.

 

Launching the consultation, Chief Officer for Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Robert Packham said, “People across Angus, Dundee, and Perth & Kinross have been sharing valuable feedback with us during the first half of the consultation period for mental health and learning disability services and these information events will be a further opportunity for people to have their voices heard.

 

“We would like to hear as many views as possible from people across Tayside and would encourage members of the public to take part in the consultation and give us their feedback on the proposed option.”


Please use the buttons below to share to your social media timelines. Good attendances at these meetings is really important.

The link below will open a PDF poster with the above dates on it.

15-8Mental Health and Learning Disability public sessions – Tayside poster

 

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MSP apologises for missing meeting

A Dundee MSP has publicly apologised to a grieving father after failing to attend a meeting he set up with health board chiefs.

Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick has said sorry to Phil Welsh, the Dundee man behind mental health awareness campaign Not In Vain For Lee, after he failed to show at a meeting arranged by his office alongside NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay.

Mr Welsh had wanted to meet with Mr Fitzpatrick and Ms McLay to discuss the “under-provision” of mental health services in the city.

Mr Welsh’s son Lee committed suicide last month and had suffered mental health problems for more than a decade.

He said: “I turned up at Ninewells on Friday afternoon to meet Mr Fitzpatrick and Ms McLay.

“The parking spaces we were provided with were even reserved and provided for under the MSP’s name.

“We waited for some time for Mr Fitzpatrick to arrive, with Ms McLay even suggesting we postpone the meeting for a time in order for him to turn up.

“An hour after I walked out of the meeting with NHS Tayside, I received a phone call from Mr Fitzpatrick’s assistant, telling me there was a mistake made with his diary, which is why he didn’t show.

“It felt, at the time, an appalling way to be treated.

“A public apology will in some way make amends and I can appreciate mistakes can happen, but for him to not contact me until afterwards was upsetting.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said:  “I was very sorry to hear of the family’s loss and met with them to offer support and assistance.

“My office helped to organise a meeting for the family with the chief executive of NHS Tayside, as well as the medical director, in order that the family could put their questions to NHS Tayside. Unfortunately due to a diary mistake I didn’t realise the meeting was last Friday until after it had taken place.

“I have since spoken with Mr Welsh to apologise for what was an honest mistake.

“I’d now like to take this opportunity to apologise to the family in public. I am deeply sorry that I missed the meeting.

“I am keen to follow up on any action points arising out of the meeting and to assist the family in any way that I can.”

Mr Welsh also received an apology from the health service for the “callous” response he received in the wake of his son’s passing.

The Dundee Health and Social Car Partnership responded to Mr Welsh’s claims about his son’s lack of support by saying there was a “wide range of mental health services available” in the city.

The Not In Vain For Lee initiative was set up to raise awareness of mental health services. The website, notinvainforlee.co.uk, allows people to share their stories and provide contact details for services in the city and beyond.

“If we can help just one person who is battling with mental health issues and prevent them from coming to harm, then it will not have been in vain,” he said.

A fundraising evening was recently held in Lee’s memory at the Royal Tay Yacht Club, which Mr Welsh thanked people for attending.

 

Full article in the The Courier

 

 

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MSP No Show at important meeting

From a Facebook post today regarding a meeting that Phil & Lesley had with The CEO & Medical Director of NHS Tayside. They were supposed to have been supported by their MSP, Joe FitzPatrick MSP.


Have a little read of the email exchange below. Addressees etc have been removed for obvious reason.

The car parking spaces were hosted in Joe FitzPatrick’s name, the chief exec of NHS Tayside suggested we hold off the meeting until Joe FitzPatrick shows up!! Guess what!! 1 hour after the meeting is over Joe FitzPatrick’s PA calls me on my mobile to offer apologies, not Joe himself, not the elected member who had agreed to facilitate a meeting with the NHS top brass for a family who’s son had recently committed suicide. The PA suggested a diary mix up!! Accept that if you can, but I certainly cannot.

I made it clear from my boys death our entire situation was never to be political I wished for the death of my boy to unite the parties and bring all to a table where we all would campaign hard for a fresh approach to why young men who were taking their own life!!! How absolutely wrong I was!!!

Joe Fitzpatrick you certainly lived up to your nickname!! NO SHOW JOE!! However I prefer this as a term for you ‘ LET DOWN BY JOE!!’

Please share this message to let individuals understand the compassion and empathy of individual politicians!!

I have yet to receive a text, email phone call from Dundee West’s MSP to offer apologies!! I’ll probably in beside my boy before that happens.

Thanks for reading!!

Good Afternoon,

I can confirm that I will be able to join Mr and Mrs Welsh at this time. Thank you for making these arrangements.

Joe FitzPatrick MSP (Dundee City West)
a: 37 Dock Street, Dundee, DD1 3DR
t: 01382 843244
w: joe.fitzpatrick.scot

—–Original Message—–
From: Phil Welsh

Hi Jackie,

The date and venue are fine for myself and Lesley.

Regards

Phil

Good afternoon Mr Welsh

Further to my colleague’s telephone call with you on Friday 18 August, I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged to meet with Ms Lesley McLay, Chief Executive and Professor Andrew Russell, Medical Director on Friday 1 September at 10am within Level 10, Ninewells Hospital. Can you please confirm if this is suitable for yourself, Ms Nicoll and Mr FitzPatrick.

Kind Regards,
Jackie

Subject: Hello

Dear Lesley,

Could you arrange a space in your diary in the next few weeks to meet up and have a conversation with myself regarding my son Lee Welsh.

Lee took his own life on Monday the 8th of August at home.

I would like to meet with you to discuss the mechanics of an official complaint in regard to the lack of mental health resources available pertinent to Lee’s situation and to get a clearer understanding of the generic response offered by the NHS which was included in an article regarding my sons plight printed in the Evening Telegraph on Saturday the 12th of August.

Hope to hear from you.

Best

Phil Welsh

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