A Cut Above the Rest?


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!!!

8 Responses to A Cut Above the Rest?

  1. ecparamedic says:

    Hacksaw to the head? That’s a new one for the list, kinda self limiting though isn’t it?

    Know exactly what you mean about ‘personality disorders’, the other favourite shoulder-slope down here is the ‘has he/she had a drink or taken drugs? We can’t assess them if they have’…………


  2. kingmagic says:

    Its the same here with the drink/drugs thing.
    Its just a way of passing the buck and getting out of doing something for someone who needs help. All it might take is a sympathetic ear or someone to pay attention to them. Thats what they are trained and paid to do is,nt it?

  3. ecparamedic says:

    Nevermind the fact that drink and drugs tend to figure quite highly in the lives of many of the mentally ill that we see…………..

  4. rob says:

    its the same everywhere, we went to a guy who was in about 5 bit after walking in front of a lorry. He had been discharged by A&E, They said “You are not suicidal” DOH!!!

  5. Betterlate says:

    Tell me that there are some mental health care professional who do a cracking job?
    That was one of the most depressing thing I have read in a while.

  6. kingmagic says:

    As in every job, there are good people.
    As in every job there are dispirited, cynical, lazy, stressed people.

    Unfortunately it is the negative jobs that stick in the mind. I have spoken to many “mental health professionals” who to me should be looking for another career. Then I have had the good fortune to see others who work tirelessly on the patients behalf.

    Its usually the system that grinds the staff down….no excuse really but thats the way it is.

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