World Mental Health Day on 10 October is more important than ever. Sadly, if patients don’t receive the correct level of care/support they can find themselves without a protective environment. We’ve been able to help those who have suffered avoidable injury as a result
We all have certain days when we feel down, stressed or anxious. Generally, these feelings will pass but sometimes such feelings may develop into a more serious problem. This could happen to anyone. Mental health can change when your circumstances change. There is a stigma attached to mental health and people feel uncomfortable talking about their feelings. However, it is healthy to talk about how you are feeling.
1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind in England. 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) in a given week in England.
Sadly, despite seeking assistance with mental health symptoms the level of care in response is sometimes inadequate and avoidable injuries occur. We are helping the following individuals who have been in this situation:
At the age of 5, Terry* suffered sexual and physical abuse, developing trauma symptoms which impaired his mental health. Following this he should have been provided with trauma focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, but unfortunately this did not happen. He was only provided with a milder version of therapy for a short amount of time, which was completely inadequate for his severe level of trauma. Sadly, his mental health continued to deteriorate with each passing year, as further recommendations for appropriate treatment were ignored.
Now in his 20’s, Terry struggles with the most basic of functions and is not willing to leave his home, he has been diagnosed with a number of psychological disorders, challenging behavioural difficulties and his emotional age is equal to that of a young child. He is unable to work or study, and has trust issues with anyone that is not part of his close family circle.
Williamsons obtained expert evidence which showed that if Terry had received the appropriate care and treatment, he would have been able to engage in everyday activities and employment. Liability was denied but after Williamsons commenced Court proceedings an admission of liability was received, along with a substantial interim payment which will allow Terry to finally obtain the treatment that he so desperately needs.
* not his real name
William*, who had a long-standing history of mental health issues, suffered a significant decline in his condition. He began to experience suicidal thoughts and hear voices. His brother was desperate to get help and took him to a mental health facility in Leeds, who they were familiar with.
The staff at the facility were able to see William face to face, but they failed to identify that he required urgent assistance, despite being unresponsive and vacant. Unfortunately, no assessment, medication or referral elsewhere was offered. They were simply told to go home and await a call. As a consequence of the failure to identify the serious deterioration in William’s mental health, the following day, he escaped from the family home and attempted suicide.
Rather than the outcome expected, William was left with extensive life changing injuries, which include spinal damage and he suffers with daily symptoms as a result.
Following this tragic event, the NHS Trust responsible conducted a serious incident investigation which highlighted some failings. Nevertheless, Williamsons had to obtain further evidence before Leeds & York Partnership NHS Trust admitted liability and provided an interim payment of damages.
William is now left to try and re-build his life, and we are supporting him with specialist input.
* Not his real name
World Mental Health Day 2021 on 10 October gives us a chance to help raise awareness of mental health issues. The last 18 months has been very challenging for everybody. Sadly, I don’t believe mental health care in the UK is able to respond to the additional demand that has arisen. We’ve brought legal claims on behalf of various patients, and their families, who have not received appropriate mental health care. Often, this involves a failure to identify the level of risk they present with and ensure that measures are put in place to protect them from harm. When such mistakes occur, the individual is left without medical/nursing support; this sometimes leads to serious injury or death. We have been able to help numerous people who find themselves in this situation and support them to move forward.
Williamsons Solicitors has extensive and recognised experience in helping families who may have suffered injuries in similar circumstances. If you need to talk to an expert Solicitor please call us on 01482 323697 or email email@example.com.