Mental health: Man took his own life as he waited for counselling

Posted: 16th February 2023

A 21-year-old man was waiting for a counselling appointment when he took his own life, an inquest heard.

Twm Bryn, from Chwilog, Gwynedd, had been feeling “low with his mood deteriorating” after he was the victim of a violent attack months earlier.

He had told a mental health nurse he was feeling suicidal and was placed on a waiting list for counselling.

Coroner Sarah Riley said she would write to Betsi Cadwaladr health board to express concern over long lists.

Mr Bryn was found hanged near his home in October 2021.

At a hearing at Caernarfon Coroner’s Court, Ms Riley concluded Mr Bryn died by suicide.

She said she would issue the health board with a prevention of future deaths report, which allows coroners to call for action to be taken to prevent future deaths.

In addition to her concern over waiting lists, Ms Riley said her report would also highlight a lack of support available to those not considered at high risk of suicide.

Betsi Cadwaladr health board said it had responded with an action plan to address the issues raised by the coroner.

Mr Bryn was attacked in July 2021 and had suffered a concussion, which his mother said had left him scared to leave the house at times.

Mr Bryn’s referral for a mental health assessment took 40 days, missing the health board’s 28-day target, the inquest heard.

His mother said a phone assessment was not enough to deal with his needs at the time.

His family raised concerns regarding the accessibility of mental health services in north Wales, emphasising the fact patients had to self-refer.

Representing the health board at the hearing, Tom Regan, its head of nursing for north-west Wales, said at the time counselling waiting lists were longer and staffing shortages were an issue.

Reading from an internal report into the death, Mr Regan said Mr Bryn was identified as being at “medium” risk of suicide.

Mr Regan said some weekend clinics were now being offered to cope with increased pressures and targets were being met more consistently.

Counselling waiting times are currently between four to six months, he added.

Source: Mental health: Man took his own life as he waited for counselling – BBC News

Categories: Mental Health News