If a previously healthy man recognises that he is a huge risk to himself. If he takes himself to a mental health facility and pleads for help. If they admit him and then classify him as ‘low risk’ and leave him unsupervised. If he then goes on to end his life in the hospital within hours of being there. This has got to be wrong. One would think this to be nearly impossible. It isn’t. It happens.
A Canadian study published in 2014 on inpatient suicides concluded that “It is possible to reduce suicide risk on the ward by having a safe environment, optimising patient visibility, supervising patients appropriately, careful assessment, awareness of and respect for suicide risk, good teamwork and communication, and adequate clinical treatment.”
Recently, a Coroner’s report on an inpatient suicide found the same things that came out in Saagar’s case:
-Risk of suicide was not properly and adequately assessed and reviewed
-Transfer of verbal and written information was poor
-Risk assessment and quality of observation was poor
-Adequate and appropriate precautions were not taken to manage the risk of suicide
In addition, they found that previous recommendations on risk and environmental factors were not implemented adequately. This means that similar deaths had occurred before but nothing had changed.
How many people need to be sacrificed before something changes?
Ed Mallen, 18, died while he was on a waiting list.
Many thousands are still waiting!
Ruby is a lovely young lady who shares the joys of being on a waiting list, among other things. Here’s the link. This time it’s 18 minutes.
Thank you Ruby! We wish you well!!!
At my age it’s hard to remember what life was like when I was twenty. I was in medical school, forming strong friendships, working hard, playing harder and worrying about exam results. The last one made me swear that I would never ever take an exam again after finishing medical school but like many others, this resolve too, dissolved.
The upside – one can drink, have sex, travel, dip into the bank of mum and dad, live at home and be a kid when it suits and be an adult when it suits. The insecurities – Am I the person I want to be? Will I be able to establish my place in the world? What will become of me? Will I make my parents proud? Will I achieve ‘success’? How many years will it take? Will I meet Mr Right and will he continue to be Mr Right for a long time?
The biggest advantage of passing years is the gradual evaporation of all these concerns, the ability to follow one’s dreams with lightness and self-belief, to be able to laugh at oneself and not take life too seriously.
Would I like to be twenty again? Nope.
What would I tell my twenty-year old self? Relax.
Things have a way of working out.
Psilocybin is the active hallucinogenic compound in ‘magic mushrooms’. It was banned in the 1960s but recent preliminary research has shown that it may have potentially beneficial effects in patients with anxiety and depression. The subjects for this research were cancer patients, 40-50% of whom will have a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression.
A team at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore conducted studies where patients were randomly administered the drug or a placebo. They were then encouraged to focus on their internal experience. Those who received Psilocybin had a significant improvement in depression, anxiety and mood disturbances. They also showed a higher level of optimism, a better quality of life and acceptance of death.
The main feature of the experience was a feeling that everything is connected. People felt they’ve learnt something that is of deep meaning. It caused a change in their value systems, in how they approach life and interact with other people. Some patients described the experience as a spiritual awakening.
The single feeling of connectedness with everything is the key to well-being. Many spiritual practices aim to manifest this feeling of oneness with all creation. My beloved spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, ‘From somebody become nobody and from nobody become everybody.’