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The phrase “Treat them, then street them” comes to mind. Anti depressants…. They just mask the angst and despair of the afflicted. Trust me, I have been to that dark place several times. As recently as early August.. 2 weeks in Carseview “Austere Towers” the place is a farce. Regarding the insensitivity of MSP’s, Medical authorities etc. Out of touch and unfortunately out there. They are completely inept and not fit for purpose. How do we change the system? Remove these backward thinking individuals from power and create a radical change, a new way of thinking to alleviate the conditions of the suffering individuals and their families.


Stanley Dobson


This page contains the messages and stories received from others about mental health services in Tayside.


Something to consider. When someone approaches their GP suffering from low mood the GP will refer to a system which might enable them to reach a diagnoses. In the UK this system is called the ICD 10 ( International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision) Chapter V: Mental and behavioural disorders. In the US, health professionals refer to something called the DSM 5. Both are highly academic complicated pieces. However, medical professions in the US would when trying to make a mental health diagnoses use something termed the bereavement exclusion. Basically if an patient has recently lost a loved one a depression/anxiety diagnoses is excluded until a specific period of time has elapsed between the passing of the loved one and making such a diagnosis. The reason for this is simply because the symptoms of grief are extremely similar to those of depression. The check list, as you will notice below, suggests symptoms which are present in a person suffering from depression could also be found in someone who has recently lost someone close.

“(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)

(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide (DSM-IV p 327)

For the “diagnosis” to be made, the “symptoms” must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning.”

What is interesting is, the symptoms described above are very likely to be found in the bereaved. The DSM did contain a time scale to allow for the natural grieving process BEFORE mental health diagnosis was made and treatment (antidepressants) were prescribed. Now you’ll notice I said the DSM DID allow for this `time period` however, this was removed in 2015. The version used in the UK, the ICD has never contained a `bereavement exclusion!`

Shortly after Lee’s death both Lesley and myself were both prescribed antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs- Trazodone, Quetiapine and Mirtazapine, powerful stuff indeed, however, as UK GP’s DO NOT take into account `bereavement exclusion` both Lesley and I were diagnosed with mental health issues two weeks after the death of our son!! Both our GP’s were fully aware of the context of our situation, yet they proceeded to offer us drugs specifically aimed toward patients with clinical depression and who display psychotic behaviour. Fortunately neither of us took the respective drugs for any length of time, however, the most alarming aspect of this is the misdiagnoses and the fait accompli on the GP’s terms.

The question we must ask then is why. Why are GP’s, after a 15 minute consultation, so readily prepared to issue such powerful drugs? Is it a lack of training, it is fear, that if they are not seen to do SOMETHING, then they have failed in their duty of care? Or is it something more insidious, where the giant pharmaceutical companies are making millions if not billions of pounds/dollars on the back of human suffering?

I agree with everything Lesley and Phil have put regarding this decease and it’s symptoms and also agree with their view points on doctors. Doctors are human, yes we know, but I believe they should be insisting they have mental health seminars as there are far too many deaths regarding this affliction. Surely to goodness this tells US ALL something. In my opinion there is not nearly enough being done.

This message came via the contact page – 28/11/17

As a teenager I was withdrawn and depressed. In 1975, I was diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed a benzodiazepine, Nitrazepam. I became hyperactive, ate very little and within two months, I had lost one quarter of my body weight and tried to take my own life. I had no idea what was wrong with me. For the next 10 years I was very ill, in and out of psychiatric hospitals and unable to function normally. I was prescribed various antidepressants. More suicide attempts were made. I then started to rebuild my life but could never function normally. At age 59, I changed GP practice and was advised to come off Nitrazepam. I complied and have been left disabled as a result. However, I now know that there is nothing wrong with my mental health, I am off all antidepressants and realise that for most of my adult life I was suffering from the adverse effects of Nitrazepam. My doctors clearly had no idea that this was the case or if they did they didn’t tell me. If I had died in 1975, my parents would never have known the reason why. I now spend my time trying to raise awareness of the adverse effects of prescription drugs, particularly benzodiazepines and antidepressants and am campaigning for services for patients who wish to safely taper off their drugs of dependence. None of the doctors at my GP practice recognised the withdrawal symptoms from Nitrazepam.


Julie Garnett 22/11/17 

`God speed Lee, What a waste of talent. I feel your pain, more definitely needs doing where Mental Health, depression etc is the culprit. R,I,P,`

This message came via the form on the Contact page today (16.10.17)


People were going on about mental health awareness the other day and just in case you didnt know, there is a site called Meetup. Its actually quite cool if you ever find yourself at a bit of a loss for something to do. You look at your local area and there is anything from having someone to go to the pics with to nights out, even holidays if you have no one to go with! There is also another site called Helpfulpeeps and this is where you give up your time to help someone else or receive help if needed. Could be anything to helping someone study, learn a new language or taking an elderly person for their shopping in the car. My point is that you never need to be alone, someone is always available for that coffee or a beer and these sites help you find them

Via Phil Welsh on Facebook.

A lot of people will be bewildered why after the death of my son I suddenly shower my social media with stories and rhetoric regarding mental health. My son Lee confided in a very limited amount of family and close friends regarding his personal situation.

Lee was unfortunately one of the many young men who felt talking openly about his mental state carried a stigma, a label which he felt he wanted no part of. This is the entire point of our recent campaign. Young people must be educated from an early age that their mental well being and the ability to discuss it, is imperative.

An individuals mental health must be acknowledged and explored fully by our general practitioners in the same way they would with a patient concerned about a heart condition or indeed worried about the threat of cancer.

Mental health MUST become an accepted condition by our GP’s. How this is achieved is for the NGO’s, the partners and the charities to educate, but we simply must end the stigma of silence endured by so many of our young folk! Let’s remove the ‘taboo’ of mental health once and for all. I am also optimistic that positive recent dialogue has opened up a possible new avenue re mental health which will hopefully be explored!!

From D.


So many lives have been wasted through their been unable to cope with their unfortunate and, dreadful mental illnesses, none of which were of their own making.I am bi polar, severely anxious, depressed plus Parkinson’s.

I was in Sunnyside for a few months and see a number of professionals. I maintain some balance by working obsessively in the garden and walking my dog. My heart goes out to you as well as Lee. plus the many other poor souls. I do my utmost to be compassionate and kind. Thanks

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. I based this on personal experience




What is this anger

That rages inside?

That ebbs and flows

Like some monstrous tide


What is this sadness

That descends on me?

This cloud of darkness

That no-one can see


What are these visions

On a constant reel?

That flash through my mind

Are they nightmares or real?


What is this euphoria

That takes over my mind?

Like some twisted metal

That i cannot unwind


Who is this person

That you dont recognise?

This tortured soul

So much turmoil inside


Its me !….I’m in here

I need real support

I’ve tried to seek it

Where is the hope?


We need to fight

For the help that we need

Mental health issues

Are a cry we must heed


© Avril Young 2017

From L.


Hi. My son is at the moment in a mental facility. He was detained in April this year. I have had to go too war with the medical profession. He was released too early and I had to get him readmitted. In the two months he has been back in he has been given access to cannabis.

The hospital feel they cannot stop patients from bringing back in illegal substances after day release and selling it too other patients. I informed the police and the ward was visited. My son has had a diagnosis of psychosis and now changed too suspected schizophrenia. I have been given no evidence of there diagnosis.

I am afraid for my son as I had too report after a visit today that he had been once again given access to illegal drugs in there facility. He has gone back deep into his delusions again and he is still getting unescorted time out the ward.

The place is a shambles with nurses expected to secure, police and look after the needs of the patients which I feel are not being met. I am horrified by what I have witnessed and seen in a place where I thought my son would be safe.

Via the web site contact form 16.09.17

All through my childhood and adult life my mother suffered with depression.. she was addicted to very strong medication some that are now banned or only given for a very short time( diasapam,halcyon ,imimpremene,tenuate dospam,DF118s) to name but a few taken like sweets lots of alcohol too consumed in the BOWLLY of the Athletic bar in strathmartine road.

In my early 20s I had left home and had a child of my own.Things came to a head I pleaded with the doctor to meet me at my mums house as I was very worried about her, he met me my mum told him she didn’t want to live anymore, he gave her a letter to take to Liff she said she wouldn’t go cos she had went before and because she wasn’t hearing voices they sent her home.

After he left I got very annoyed with her and told her I’d had enough and she wasn’t helping herself. I was young didn’t understand wasn’t educated in mental health even though me and my brothers had lived our life’s in the shadow of depression no agencies existed all those years ago to offer us support and education. My mum took her own life 5 days later. she was 53 years old.

That was 27 years ago. I don’t know what the answer is, but think there should be more money put in to mental health and support for careers of people living with mental health issues,especially young careers. L F


From D 16/09/17 via contact form


I’m so sorry for your loss, I was diagnosed over 15 years ago with bi polar, I’ve lost count how many different tablets I’ve tried I now have 6 different tablet I take everyday some off these on there maximum dose, I personally cannot get over how poor the service is in Tayside/Angus, I had the same psychiatrist for 10 years and he was great he took one look at me on 2 different occasions and because he knew me so well he didn’t have to ask all the routine questions he just went u need to be admitted I went to mulberry ward at Stracathro.

Both times and I’ve heard good and bad things about it, but it was what I needed it made me feel safe, I won’t say on here the name of the psychiatrist on the ward but I’m sure if u have been there u will know who I mean, it became comical me n other patients decided he worked on commission the sooner he got u out the more money he got, I was there for 6 weeks both times and the amount of people who were sent home tht came back in tht time was just stupid, with mental health problems it’s not a quick fix, u can’t just put a plaster on it and it’s all better, I assure u I wish tht was possible.

But now in Arbroath there are no permanent psychiatrists which has bn awhile now, so u go see the locum psychiatrist for 20mins,and they have offered me a new diagnosis and change my meds, you go for your next appointment and guess what it’s a different psychiatrist who wants to do something else, I went into a crisis it took 4 weeks to see somebody, my GP is brilliant and is really supportive even just as a shoulder to cry on, she had phoned Gowanlea 4 times it was only when she put a written complaint in, tht I got to see someone, my partner has bi polar too (yes it can b an interesting house sometimes) one if these fantastic psychiatrists took him off his lithium and low and behold he ended back in hospital, and got back on his lithium but it took me screaming and his mum to get him admitted,surely we are the best people to know if someone us safe or not, something needs to be done, I don’t no why they don’t just open cars view up as a mental health unit like it used to be with cold showers and patients. Rocking back and forward in chairs cause this is how I see it going x

From Anon


I am/was one of lees closest friends. Lee would often tell me his struggles but I could have never imagined this. We often discussed issues and here’s mine. For years I’ve lived a normal (ish) life. Good job good support network. Losing my father growing up really impacted me. In early adult years I resorted to payday loans and gambling. Growing older I resolved my uninformed mistakes but still felt miserable at times. Often id feel busy in work content and then at 5pm when my girlfriend would pick me up I’d feel hatred and anger. Not towards her and luckily she understood if I say -I’m having a bad day leave me be (she would) 30 mins later id normally be OK. This was normal for me to change setting and feel a different mood, sometimes positive sometimes negative. I’m lucky I have a partner who understands I’m bi polar – it isn’t personal. At this point after I’d say 10 years of denying myself help I visited my local doctor- I must credit Dr (name removed) Nethergate medical centre. He told me he wasn’t qualified in this but had a basic understanding and wanted to talk to me before referring me. I’ve heard stories of Dr’s lacking care and I assure you he wasn’t one, I walked out confident in his referral due to his care. I eventually got seen from somewhere I will remain unnamed (Phil happy to provide if you ask) I visited twice and on both occasions I was made to feel interrogated – almost as if they wanted me to say nothing’s wrong I made it up. I gave up with “help” Three weeks later I lost lee. I’m angry that the “support” isn’t there I’m proud Phil and Lesley are committed to saving lives

via website contact form 06.09.17


My daughter had bipolar disorder and the treatment in Liff hospital Dundee was shocking at times. Jenni died on the 3rd Feb 2001 after suffering this disease from the age off 11 years old. I assume Liff became Carried in Ninewells. I am so very sad that the treatment has not i noticed. I wrote a book about Jenni and included the treatment she received in Dundee, called Bathed In Blue. I am so sorry for your loss and want to support and help if I can

via website contact form 06.09.17


Hello. Firstly, I am so very sorry to read about Lee, you must be devastated. I hope that as a family; you are receiving the support that you need. What you are doing with this site is a wonderful idea – For Lee, for you; and hopefully for many others. Thank you. I read an article this morning, about a young girl who had been bullied [in Au] One of the uncles had said [not verbatim] that we should get our kids to think “It’s cool to speak up”. That stuck with me, and it’s certainly a message that I will share with family and friends. I wish you well.

via the contact form 04.09.17


Hi my names elaine and I have been battling mental health issues for a number of years with little to no diagnosis I keep getting different medication s that I find don’t help me one little bit and all I ask for is a diagnosis and the right medication to help me

via Facebook 04.09.17


A friend of mine, Phil Welsh , is currently suffering tremendous personal grief having lost his son Lee who tragically took his own life recently. Lee suffered from mental health issues and Phil is trying to seek answers to questions in relation to the help or lack of it that was made available to Lee as he struggled with his condition. Phil is also seeking to achieve improvements in the care on offer to those who suffer from forms of mental illness. I have to say I have personally been close to the abyss myself a couple of times in recent years and agree with Phil that it’s an issue that requires much greater attention from the relevant authorities and agencies. Phil was promised a meeting to discuss these issues in which the elected member of the Scottish Parliament for Dundee West was expected to be in attendance. This has been a high profile public issue and has received considerable local media attention. Needless to say, Phil feels badly let down by the non appearance of the Dundee West MSP. Have a look at Phil’s page, he has went into great detail as to the circumstances. This is not a political on my part, I am simply sharing Phil’s feeling of being let down by an elected representative. I, like most of us can hardly begin to comprehend what Phil must be going through just now but he undoubtedly deserves better from those in a position to help. Phil, best wishes pal

via site contact form, 03.09.17


My partner committed suicide 4 years ago. Would be great to share his story. I am part of a group called recovery Dundee, we are the first independent recovery service in Dundee. We are involve in trying to make many changes in our city it would be great to get in touch to see if we could help in anyway. We are hosting a civic reception which is a great opportunity to let the council know who we are maybe it would benefit you from attending let me know thanks Sharon

From Eddie via Facebook (30.08.17)


Hi Phil been watching u and Lesley’s story with heartache Monday 4th September is 22 years to the day when my mum couldn’t face her demons anymore. She went to the docs told them her problems and they gave her tablets. The very tablets that would burst her heart and kill her. Looking back now I should have been trying to make a change but I accepted it for what it is. Seems like 22 years on and the doctors still don’t give someone the time they deserve to save them.

This message came via the form on the Contact page today (28.08.17)


Hey Lesley it’s Stacey here, I’ve been thinking of doing a few different ideas and things to help raise funds and hopefully help families in this same situation or even the young adults there selves just like me, from my own experience I have at least for a few years now wished I had someone that I could talk to about everything and anything and my PTSD. So maybe we could get together and anyone could come and talk or simply just listen to other people’s stories/problems/worries. Also I’ve been thinking of doing a sponsored walk/wheelchair drive for in memory of my good friend Lee 💘 I think of him everyday and please if there’s anything I could do to help u, Phil and Kirsty. Lots of love stacci xxxxx

From June via Contact Form (29.08.17)


I am a stand up comic, a mental health activist and campaigner. I specialise in fundraising. Please contact me if there is anything I can do,,, ,,,you can always catch me on faceboook God Bless you all, i am heart sore for your loss x

via site contact form (26.08.17)


Mental health is a massive issue in Dundee and very poorly managed. I’ve had depression for a few years. I’m on medication but do sometimes have really bad days. My wife come with me to the doctors not long ago. She told the doctor that she feels if I don’t get help soon then I would not be here this time next year. The doctors reply to that was “well then we have a year to help him” so we left with my meds being put up and that’s it..

This message came via the form on the Contact page today (25.08.17)


Hi I’m so sorry for your loss. On the 28th of January 2013 my fiancé managed to end his life in a hospital observation ward where he was able to hang himself in a £20million unit designed to save suicidal patients! The Susan Carnegie centre in Stracathro. And it was decided by the fiscal that the hospital were not at fault.