Being detained under the Mental Health Act drove me to improve care My friend tried to kill himself when we were in the same psychiatric unit. Now I support others in similar situations
I was awoken by the sound of gasps and bangs coming from the bedroom next door. It was 4am on a medium-secure psychiatric unit where it’s always noisy, but I instinctively knew this wasn’t good. I ran into my neighbour’s room and found him in the process of killing himself. I screamed for help.
The man trying to end his own life was a friend. We had both attended the same pupil referral unit I was sent to after being excluded from school and for different reasons we ended up on the same psychiatric ward years later. After the nursing team had managed the incident, I asked him why he had taken such a step. He said he’d had enough of life and believed that things would never get better for “people like us”, and that our destiny was “death or to be in places like this forever”. He was discharged shortly after, but within weeks I was told that he had died of an overdose. He had only just turned 30. The Guardian