I’m writing this article in light of the news that I read by the woman found hanged at Hull Mental Health Unit . I wasn’t a close friend as such , but we was both patients at the unit at the same time, consequently forming some sort of bond during our stays. I too am affected by this news and was crying over hearing how the The Humber NHS Foundation Trust has let another patient (including me) down. As I’ve been an inpatient frequenting the units from my teenage years to adulthood, I have a lot of empathy for these individuals. They will now never have a voice and I’ve seen a lot of traumatic things; understandably so.
A lot of improvements have indeed been made, like the bold move several years ago to start to move and re-brand mental health care in hospitals. This was to gradually remove all Mental Health Wards out and away from the typical clinical environment of a traditional hospital environment, allow them to become and feel a lot less clinical, as we don’t need to see plain white walls. This isn’t a clinical situation, it’s about tackling mental health, together. And they have also given a different names to the wards. For example, Ward 18 that once was inside Scunthorpe General Hospital, is now called Great Oaks — a purpose built Mental Health Unit — and as they are now called: Great Oaks Mental Health Unit.
Now referring back to my first paragraph about the young woman who sadly hung herself at the Westlands Unit in Wheeler Street Kingston Upon Hull , East Yorkshire, served by the Humber NHS Foundation Trust. She was in the care of the doctor in charge, who let us and I’m sure many others down: Dr. Akin.
Helen was a lovely woman: kind, positive, helpful, bubbly, and ambitious. She was clever too, going on to complete a 2:1 at The University of Hull and also being an auxiliary nurse.
She will be deeply missed by her husband, her family and her friends.
In an extract taken from the news article Woman found hanged at Hull Mental Health Unit:
‘Loving and caring’ Helen Millard found hanging at Hull mental health unit .
GREATLY MISSED: Helen Millard was found hanging in a bathroom at a Hull mental health unit despite staff knowing she was tying ligatures around her neck up to four times a day, an inquest heard .
Helen Millard, 30, was reduced to hourly observations at Westlands, run by Humber NHS Foundation Trust, despite being under constant observation when she was first admitted and for 90 days during a previous admission.
Helen had made a ligature which staff had taken from her hours before she was found hanging in the bathroom .
Her husband Jon told the inquest: “I know nothing can bring Helen back and she appeared determined to take her life.
“But I do wonder if Helen was on more frequent observations, her death could have been prevented.”
Helen, diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), was admitted to Westlands in Wheeler Street, west Hull, in March last year.
CCTV footage played at the inquest showed Helen walking from her bedroom into the bathroom about 30 minutes before she was found by staff, who spent 40 minutes trying to save her before she was rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary.
Helen suffered two cardiac arrests & sadly died of her injuries in Hull Royals Intensive Care Unit .
Her husband Jon, who met her at university, said his wife had been bullied at school about her weight and she took overdoses and self-harmed before and after they married in 2008.
But he said: “Helen was not defined by her mental health. I would like her to be remembered for her many qualities.
“She was very loving and caring, she was hard-working, determined and very driven.”
“She will be greatly missed, not only by me, but by her family and her many friends.”
He said his wife had suffered setbacks in her ambition to become a teacher despite being assessed as “outstanding” and had started a nursing degree before working as an auxiliary nurse on a cancer ward at Castle Hill Hospital and then in customer services for Hull City Council.
After she was discovered hanging from a ligature by her husband at their home in late February last year, Helen was admitted to the psychiatric intensive care unit at Miranda House and then Westlands, sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Mr Millard said: “She said she heard voices in her head telling her to kill herself.”
“The difficult thing was Helen was able to function well and a lot of the time, Helen appeared OK when she was really struggling and very distressed inside.”
A Jury hearing evidence earlier this week at an inquest into the death of Helen Millard,
in a statement read out in court, mental health nurse Clare Copeland described Helen as “manipulative”, “argumentative” and “hostile”, attempting to turn members of staff against each other “to achieve her aims”.
She said Helen “uses her personality disorder when she feels she needs it.”
However, staff nurse Sian Owen, who found Helen in the bathroom, said she disagreed with that assessment.
Ms Owen said Helen’s condition had been improving and observations had been reduced to hourly checks as the “least restrictive practice.”
She said more frequent observations frustrated Helen and led to an increase in her tying ligatures around her neck, usually when she was just about to be checked and knew someone would be there to help her.
She agreed with Richard Baker, counsel for the family, that the bathroom was a “danger zone” as Helen frequently tied ligatures around her neck in the bathroom in the evening.
Ms Owen said: “I have gone around this in my mind a million times and there was nothing in that day that made me think something could have been done.”
Shaun Lyth, a health care worker, said if a member of staff had spotted the CCTV footage of Helen going into the bathroom in the nurses’ office that night, they would have checked on her.
I as a suffer from Emotionally Unstable Borderline Personality Disorder, I do agree in parts that due to illness some individuals are manipulative in nature and this is a taboo topic among those who suffer from personality disorders, especially those of the emotionally unstable type .
This should not of allowed to happen though, and I’m very angry at The Humber NHS Foundation Trust for something as unforgivable as this. I’m was so deeply saddened upon hearing the news .
The doctor in charge of the patients at the Westlands Unit should not still be practising. I wonder why this doctor hasn’t been struck off yet.
I’m passionate about making a difference and helping others in any way that I can. I have my own Facebook Support Page where you can message me, anytime, as well as owning and running my blog. I’m also considering setting up an actual website where people can go for support and perhaps a charity, too .
Dear Helen, gone, but never forgotten, R.I.P Sweetheart .