13:42 Wednesday 18 December 2013

Psychiatric patient calls for others to speak out

Written byMARK MCKAY

A FORMER psychiatric patient has desperately pleaded for patients to speak out about the need for better mental health provision in Burton.

David Davis, 57, whose mental demons of depression and anxiety left him on the brink of suicide, made the plea to drum up support for institutional psychiatric facilities in the town.

Burton has been without the facilities since inpatient psychiatric services at the Margaret Stanhope closed in 2012.

It was a move which mental health campaigners, the town’s MP Andrew Griffiths and the Mail tenaciously opposed.

Mr Davis, of Rowton Street, Burton, used to work in construction before he was first treated at the Margaret Stanhope 18 years ago after suffering a nervous breakdown.

He said: “I was really poorly but the service that the doctors and nurses provided was perfect.

“There are people who are too frightened to come forward and speak out about their problems.

“There has got to be hundreds of people who are affected by its closure and until there’s another centre the situation will only get worse. “That’s why people should speak out.”

Mr Davis said he decided to speak out after his health took a turn for the worse in March this year when he suffered a heart attack.

He said while in hospital his mood-stabilising medication was stopped which led to him suffering hallucinations and becoming suicidal.

Mr Davis, who is now back on medication, said he thanked the nurses at his physiotherapy sessions for bringing him back from the brink.

He said: “When I came out of hospital I was that poorly I knew I would have gone straight into the Margaret Stanhope Centre if it was still here.

“Since it has closed people who used the facilities have been pushed to the shadows.”

Psychiatric services for 24 patients were lost when the South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust closed the Margaret Stanhope Centre.

The trust previously claimed the closure was part of a modernising process which ‘strengthened’ its services by allowing mentally ill patients to be treated at home or in the community.

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