Learning from Loss: Families and Carers Survey (September 2018)
The Scottish Government is carrying out a review of the arrangements currently in place for investigating the deaths of people being treated for mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability and they want to hear from people who have experience of these investigations.
It is very important for relatives to speak about their experience. This will help to ensure that families in the future who find themselves in this distressing situation receive support to find answers to their questions they might have about the circumstances surrounding a loved-one’s death.
The review was supported by Dr Richard Simpson MSP in 2015 when he noted that:
“One of the big issues is that people with mental illness, particularly severe and enduring mental illness, die much younger. Therefore, it is important to understand their deaths, even if they are apparently from natural causes and a physical condition. There is a need to ensure that … [health] boards will in the future take such action as is required to improve prevention of suicide or other deaths that may— I stress “may”—be preventable. Families want to know that any lessons that can be learned are learned. I do not believe that that happens at present.”
For this review, the Government would like to know about investigations that took place where someone died in Scotland when they were:
- Detained in hospital under mental health laws
- Detained in hospital after criminal court proceedings
- In hospital on a voluntary basis for treatment for mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability
- Living in the community and required by mental health laws to have treatment for their illness/condition
Until September 24th people can express their views by an online survey: https://consult.gov.scot/mental-health-law/investigation-of-deaths-survey-for-families-carers.
After this date, and also for anyone who would find it easier to talk to someone face to face, please get in touch with Graham Morgan at the Mental Welfare Commission and he will help you or find another carer’s support organisation, such as Support in Mind to help you complete the questionnaire.
Please contact Graham Morgan at Graham.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Mental Welfare Commission on 0800 389 6809.We can then make arrangements to gather your views in whatever way would suit you best, eg in writing, over the telephone, or in a face-to-face meeting.
Your views will influence the Official Review if received by the end of October 2018.