A Cut Above the Rest?

November 30, 2006


Yesterday was my first day shift after nights. It all seems to blur into one long stint.

Our first job was right at the start of the shift….called to someone in the river! Blues & Twos on and off we go. It was a really icey cold morning too so I thought whoever was in the river will be probaly hypothermic.

On arrival scene we are directed to the foreshore and liase with our police colleagues who have managed to coax the person out of the river.

On approaching our new found patient I instantly recognise him. He is becoming a real regular, a rising star in the Hall of Fame for frequent flyers. Within the past three weeks, to my own personal knowledge, he has cut his wrists, tried to hacksaw through his head (down to the bone, so good effort), and tried to drown himself.

He stands in front of us, dripping wet (understandably) and freezing cold and shivering (again very understandable). He wants to end it all, but first he wants to go to hospital to see the Crisis Team (local mental health unit). So off we pop to the A/E where the crisis team refuse to see him…”he has a personality disorder!” they say.

So this guy is going to keep on slashing, hacking, jumping, getting wet and generally making a nuisance of himself. It just amazes me that he cant get help from mental health services. The times I,ve convinced someone with first time suicidal tendencies to come with me to A/E to get the ball rolling in the hope of someone giving professional help, and they,ve been sent away without even seeing anyone. The crisis team are getting paid for what???

Later on in the day this guy discharged himself when no-one would see him and walked back into the river!!!