Mental health services in Lanarkshire ‘inadequate’ say politicians

Lanarkshire’s mental health services need to be dramatically improved, local politicians say.

It follows the tragic case of David Timlin, 51, who walked in front of a train less than an hour after leaving room 19 at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride.

He died six days later on Christmas Eve with his family who are now asking for answers on the reasons for his discharge from the hospital.

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His case led to questions about the provision of mental health services across the region.

Monica Lennon, Labor MSP for central Scotland, said: “There are serious questions to be answered about the provision of mental health services in Lanarkshire, including at Hairmyres.

“People are urged to ask for help, however, too often there is insufficient help and we have seen this end in tragedy time and time again.

“If the Scottish Government is serious about preventing preventable deaths, it must accept an urgent independent review of mental health services and start listening to individuals and their families about their experiences. “

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Monica Lennon MSP

Meanwhile, his Tory counterpart, MSP Graham Simpson, said: “This is a very heartbreaking matter and David’s family is clearly devastated.

“The board of health should take their concerns seriously and they deserve answers.

“Too many people across Scotland are not getting the treatment they deserve right now.

“We had a mental health crisis before the pandemic and it’s worse now.”

As the founder of his own mental health support group, MyND Over Matter, James Downie of East Kilbride said: community psychiatry nurses and counselors.

“It has a huge negative impact on people’s mental health and that’s why we exist.

“We have people from all over the country coming to our daily live videos to share their stories and help each other.

“We see ourselves as a beacon of hope for people who are feeling lonely or thinking about killing themselves and hopefully preventing these tragedies from happening. Most people are waiting to be seen and while they are, we can be that light in the dark.

“We are already creating a mental health support group every Wednesday night starting January 19 at the Waist Not Want Not at Greenhills Mall.

“In this course, we will be running discussion groups, walking groups, MYNDfulness to help people develop tools to manage their mental health. This is open to men and women from the age of 18.”

A number of staff have tested positive for the coronavirus at Hairmyres Hospital (Image: East Kilbride News)
Questions being asked of NHS Lanarkshire Mental Health Services

Ross McGuffie, Director of Health and Social Services for North Lanarkshire, said: ‘NHS Lanarkshire wants to reassure residents that a range of mental health support services are available 24/7 .

“All individuals will be assessed and an appropriate risk assessment will be carried out.

“A Pan-Lanarkshire Mental Health Strategy was launched in 2019 as a shared vision to provide a strategic plan to transform mental health and well-being in Lanarkshire. The pandemic has had an impact on the implementation of these plans, but work has now resumed. “

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Every suicide is a tragedy with far-reaching effects on those who remain. It is important that people know that help is available. Anyone in need of help can contact your GP or call the NHS 24 helpline.

“People can also find help online, through NHS Inform, and on the Samaritans and Breathing Space websites.”

The Scottish Government has also said it continues to work to improve specialist services, reduce long wait times and eliminate backlogs on waiting lists, with spending on mental health dropping from £ 651million in 2006- 07 to £ 1.077 billion in 2019-2020, a 65% increase.

They are also developing a new long-term suicide prevention strategy for Scotland, to be released in September 2022, working with COSLA and stakeholders on the new strategy.

People can call the Samaritans on 116 123, email [email protected] or call Breathing Space on 0800 838587 or, for more direct assistance, they can contact their GP or NHS24 on 111.

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