Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A reader writes:

Bad news. There was a suicide last night in St Augustines Road, next to the old motor museum. A woman jumped out of the window of flats in the big old regency building which also holds the language school. Apparently she tried it on Saturday, threatening to jump off the cliff near the Motor Museum, but staff at the Churchill Pub stopped her. She was sectioned, was released yesterday, and jumped to her death last night. Tragic.

How many suicides, or attempted suicides have we had on the island recently? Way beyond the national average methinks.

Update: More details now running on Thanet Extra. Click here to read.


James Maskell said...

Terrible. Why was she released so shortly after being sectioned? I admit Im not an expert and someone can explain this but it does sound very odd.

Rick said...

If the rate of suicide, amongst staff and inmates, at the Sue Ryder HQ Care Home Cavendish in 70s and 80s were extended to Thanet as a whole. Then Thanet would have had around 800 suicides in the last decade.

If you look at Thanet. We await (as far as I know) an inquest verdict on Pc Andy Eley. Not so long ago the Thanet Coroners Officer committed suicide.

Not so long before that Pc Bluestone murdered his family and then killed himself.

That may be three from Thanet Police. Add to that Pc Hill the self styled Thanet street warrior who was convicted of breaking a prisoner neck. The PC who was convicted of bruising his own face in support of his concocted defence for assaulting a handcuffed prisoner.

In 1972 at Cavendish Dr Nini Ettlinger (who is the widow of the academy artist Josef Herman who now writes medical text books on subjects including despair) wrote that people's critical faculties were suspended because they were blinded by the smokescreen of charity. She wrote (intended for govt inquiry into Sue Ryder Homes) that the home should be taken into NHS to avoid further people being driven to despair in the charitable setting.

Even with a holocaust surviving expert telling them society will not listen. There are such things as developing pockets of despair.

I would be wary of blaming the suicide rate on Thanet poverty etc

Anonymous said...

How sad - but the warning signs were there - pity she could not have got help here as there helplines she could have rung.- - but I guess if someone is absolutely determined to do it there isvery little anyone can do to stop them - a sad day for Thanet

Anonymous said...

A few facts found on the Kent and Medway public health library web site ::

Suicide prevention has been a target for PCTs and for ‘Our Healthier Nation strategy’. The latest overview of suicides and undetermined deaths across Kent shows that the suicide rate in Kent is slightly higher than the national average. During the three year period 2003-2005, the average number of suicides per year in Kent was 130. The suicide rate for West Kent PCT is slightly above the national average at 8.60 per 100,000 (national average is 8.50 per 100,000). This suggests some cause for concern as in an area of comparative affluence this figure should be lower. Moreover, the rate in West Kent has risen slightly over the past four years. Dr Hamdi, who conducts a local audit of suicides in West Kent has recommended attention at the early intervention and primary care stages, since two thirds of suicides are not known to mental health services. The suicide rate in the Eastern & Coastal Kent PCT area is also higher than the national average at 9.60 per 100,000; although this is up on the previous three year rate the overall trend in East Kent is falling.
Some local facts about suicides:
•In Kent (and nationally) 7 out of 10 suicides are males.
•The average age is 44 for males and 52 for females.
•80% of all suicides occur in the working age group.
•Suicide accounts for 6% of all deaths in the under 75 age group.
•Suicide accounts for 16% of all deaths in the 25-44 age group.

Anonymous said...

Some good always comes from these tragedies. In this case, it's reminded me that it's high time I went through my wardrobe and fished all my jumpers ready for winter.

Anonymous said...

I had severe depression 10 years ago and my wife found me sitting in the kitchen lining up paracetamol in nice rows and I had no explaination for what I was doing, then and now. What depths of despair must this poor woman have trawled to jump with family and officers in attendance? May she now rest in peace.

Lucy Mail said...

Well, for once I agree with (P)rick.
>>There are such things as developing pockets of despair.<<
And one of them can be easily avoided by simply not clicking on any links to his blog.

Anonymous said...

While we are among humans let us try to be humane. Back on topic issues of depression and related mental health issues are both badly misunderstood and often not treated soon enough. I find it scary that she would have to sink so far as to be sectioned only to be released so soon. They must have thought here able to cope... all the same there were obviously some underlining issues that should have been addressed sooner - something I wish the current health system was better at picking up on.

Anonymous said...

Whilst the rest of the NHS is great in a crisis (heart attack, broken leg, traffic accident etc.) I have learnt from bitter personal experience that they are pretty rubbish when it comes to a mental health crisis.

Anonymous said...

I blame the council. They're to blame for everything else so this must be their fault too.

LG said...

Totally tragic and a very sad reflection on the mental health service in Thanet, a source of many complaints. Presumably this poor lady was under the care of the Beacon, not well known for its support of patients or engagement with local organisations and individuals involved in their care. I rarely agree with James Maskell but on this occasion one does ask why she was released so soon after being sectioned and in such obvious need of care.

Anonymous said...

8.11: "I blame the council. They're to blame for everything else so this must be their fault too."

YEAH! Me too!