Bereaved father details failings of 'swamped' NHS mental health services

4 April 2022, 17:38

By Seán Hickey

This heartbroken caller tells Eddie Mair how his son committed suicide after the NHS failed to provide him with appropriate mental health services.

Jaques told Eddie Mair that his son had been struggling with mental health issues "for a number of years," but was not seen by NHS specialists until he ended up in a hospital bed after trying to take his own life.

The call came amid reports that stretched NHS mental health services are turning away children and adolescents.

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He told Eddie that he consulted CAMHS, his son's school and other social services in an effort to get help for his suicidal son.

"It seemed that everything there was a waiting list."

The caller said that "it was only when he was admitted to hospital that the help was there," but after at most six sessions "they'd say he's ok."

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"He'd cry out to me sometimes and say 'Dad, I'm struggling. I'm really struggling.'"

The caller then told LBC that his son took his own life. He suggested that the government invest heavily in services, arguing that "as a society it'll stop broken people doing what my son did, and subsequently those left behind not being able to move on because they're struggling."

"I'm due at a counselling session now to come to terms with it, but it's all after the event."

He went on to note that the counselling is coming out of his own pocket, as he doesn't meet the criteria for NHS assistance.

"I'm obviously not high enough on the priority list."

If you are affected by this story you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or CALM on 0800 58 58 58.

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