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To want this lady supervised?

(106 Posts)
Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:12:33

Ok, a neighbour of ours clearly has mental health issues. I sympathise, and always thought she was harmless but a few months ago she caused a row in the street (really with my mother, who she thought was looking at her funny) and was effing and blinding in public, accusing me of all sorts of vile and untrue things. She used my dds name and it shook me up. Mum phones the police and they came straight out to be fair, told us neighbour was known to them, not a lot they could do.

Fast forward to last week. Another neighbour witnessed her walking around with a claw hammer in an agitated way. She phoned the police who apprehended her. When she was picked up she had knives and blades concealed in her underwear. She was sectioned.

Within three days she was back on the streets aggressively accosting passers by accussing them of being liars and followers of satan. Clearly she is a danger to herself and others so why is she allowed to live alone and not be monitored? I genuinely fear seeing her out and about and I am not the only one I know. Is it unreasonable to want her supervised? Not locked up, but just someone making sure she took her meds would be something.

financialnightmare Mon 17-Jun-13 17:24:23

social services are fine - they will work with the CMHT. Don't worry about ringing them and asking for help.

valiumredhead Mon 17-Jun-13 14:51:39

I agree-police every time and they will contact the necessary people if needed.

Souredstones Mon 17-Jun-13 11:48:05

Please don't ring social services unless its a safeguarding issue. Social services and CMHT are two separate entities. If you are worried about her or het actions on the community call 101 and get an emergency service out to her

Filofax Mon 17-Jun-13 11:24:45

Saintly has beat me to it. If it were me I would write to SS explaining your concerns and noting past events and copy your MP and local chief of Police. Keeping a diary is a good idea.

When you ring SS (good idea btw) tell them you will hold them responsible for anything that happens to her or a member of the public (even better if you can follow it up with an email to them copied to your local counsellor/MP). I have found making it clear that you regard it as their responsibility to do something does make SS act. If she isn't their responsibility then do the same with whoever she falls under - community mental health team or whoever.

Sparklymommy Mon 17-Jun-13 08:56:15

Thank you everyone. I have decided to keep a diary of incidents and speak to adult services.

mrsjay Mon 17-Jun-13 08:50:36

OP i read you were going to contact S S today good luck I hope it gets sorted out living in fear of somebody is not only dangerous but it makes going out uncomfortable and down right bloody scarey, keep gossiping with your neighbours about this woman the more people who talk about this then this woman will get help and you and your children and neighbours will feel safe and not live in fear of been belted with a hammer,

pigletmania Mon 17-Jun-13 08:04:42

IF the woman is a stranger which she is, op has Noway of knowing who is responsible for her care, all she can do if she or others see this woman acting dangerously is to report her to police and social service, eventually they will build up a dossier on her to hopefully keep her away in order to protect the public, herself and help her. If anything happens ad somebody is hurt or killed as a result of these woman's actions, they are responsible. Just because she is out in the community does not mean she should be there, there are staff shortages and the NHS/Local authority is cash strapped, if they can go for the cheaper but not necessary the right option than they will

AlbertaCampion Mon 17-Jun-13 07:52:37

Oh, for goodness' sake SirBoobaLot.

OP, you have my sympathies. Having been in a similar position myself, I have some inkling of what you're going through, how it takes over your life - and how, as a non-family member with concerns about someone with no apparent family members in the vicinity, it can seem impossible to get anything done.

The only consolation is, at least your lady is already in the system - speeds things up massively in my exp.

yamsareyammy Mon 17-Jun-13 07:35:21

SirBoobAlot. I hope you havent put people on here and anyone reading this thread, off talking about a neighbour they have concern over, for fear of gossiping.
Else, a neighbour or whoeven may not get the help they need, and could endanger others.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 17-Jun-13 07:23:16

I should add that the meeting with neighbours is useful...my aunt did it and everyone was surprised at how many he had affected.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 17-Jun-13 07:20:51

OP we had a similar situation with my Aunt and a local man who was obviously suffering mental health issues. He was sending her notes which were sexual and then when she told the police, he threatened her....he was to be frank utterly barking and we found out he had almost killed an ex with a hammer. She had to wait till he attempted to talk to her at least three times in all and then she got an injunction or some legal thing to stop him being allowed to approach her...not much good if he's mad though....he did approach her and it enabled her to call the police to have him arrested.

Strokethefurrywall Mon 17-Jun-13 03:39:14

For goodness sake, the OP writes a post detailing her concerns about an individual who clearly is a threat to the public around her and posters start picking holes in her use of semantics. Fucking hell, some people are so pedantic.

Not everyone knows what the correct "terminology" to use regarding mental health and it is unfair to berate her for voicing her own concerns. Quite frankly, if someone is mentally unstable and is walking around with concealed weaponry in their knickers, I don't give a shit if I'm classed as a "gossip" as long as it keeps my kids and other neighbours around me safe. Which is the point right? If she didn't "tell" her neighbours then all hell would break loose if she knew, but didn't tell and something happened wouldn't it?

OP seems genuinely concerned for the subject in question which shows her kind character. OP, just keep reporting your concerns to the people you need to and follow up. Good luck.

differentnameforthis Mon 17-Jun-13 02:39:55

But they will not arrange a meeting or conversation with a random person, and certainly will not disclose any information without the clients permission

I don't think the op wants a meeting or an open discussion, she just wants someone to be responsible for this lady who is posing a threat to the neighbourhood. She wants them to know what her recent behaviour is like, and to be able to help this woman & stop/prevent her being violent & verbally abusive in the street!

I think the whole landlord thing is valid too, if I had a violent person living in my street, I would contact their landlord & tell them that this person is being abusive with the potential to be violent.

She is carrying & concealing a weapon/s! Would you be happy to let your children play out, or just to go out with your children if you knew there was a neighbour who was concealing weapons on their person, around your street? I bet you bloody wouldn't be. Neither would I be! Why should the op live her life in fear because of this woman?

And why concentrate on the potential gossiping? You really have pushed that so much, I think the op gets the point now.

FWIW op, I think that many poster on here accusing you of gossip would be right on your case if you failed to tell your neighbours that this woman was violent. It isn't gossiping, it is making people aware that there is a danger in the area.

Laradaclara Mon 17-Jun-13 00:46:07

What herecomesthesun says. Also, you can section someone who is presenting completely lucidly and rationally as long as you have enough evidence that they do in fact have a mental disorder of a nature or degree that warrants detention in hospital and that they are a risk to their health, safety or others. If there are enough reports from neighbours that can help, but they need to be detailed and specific and amount to more than heresay. Ultimately they need to stand up in a tribunal where the burden of proof is on the detaining authority and 'Mrs X from down the road says' is unlikely to be enough without other evidence. An appeal for a section 2 can be organised within days of assessment and if there isn't enough evidence the patient will be discharged by the tribunal. Quite rightly too as it is a serious thing to deprive someone of their liberty. However, if her behaviour is due to mental illness then any information you can give the police can add to the picture and make it easier for services to do something to help the lady.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 23:41:37

A mental health professional will not discuss anything to do with a client with a complete stranger. And 'Mrs X from down the road' classifies as a complete stranger.

Even if she is under the mental health services, and you contact them with a name, the most they will do is acknowledge that you have called them.

So yes, if you have a concern to raise with them, knowing what team she is under, then yes. But they will not arrange a meeting or conversation with a random person, and certainly will not disclose any information without the clients permission.

cumfy Sun 16-Jun-13 23:35:46

I'd be very surprised if she was not already under the supervision of community MH services and had a keyworker.

It might be worth trying to contact them directly and arrange a meeting/conversation.

herecomesthsun Sun 16-Jun-13 22:16:47

* If she can come across as perfectly reasonable a lot of the time then that would tend to suggest that she isn't severely mentally ill.*

Well, a section assessment tends to take an hour or so. Someone who is very severely mentally ill, for example floridly psychotic, simply would not be able to appear lucid for an hour-long interview. This would be the most straightforward sort of section.

The section assessment is a legal process by means of which someone can lose many of their legal rights, so due process has to be followed. If someone does not appear to be unwell enough to be sectioned, and if all the assessors do not agree on this, then the section cannot be completed.

I would still say that if someone comes across as perfectly reasonable in interview this would tend to suggest that they aren't ill enough to section. Bear in mind, it used to be the case that people could be "put away" for what would seem today to be trivial reasons; the bar for sectioning someone is set fairly high these days, and there are good humanitarian reasons for that.

However, the history of recent behaviour/problems and other third party evidence can be considered and taken into account, so giving a detailed account to relevant services would be very helpful if the person is borderline as to whether to section in interview. It could swing the assessment. It can also play a crucial role in prompting a section assessment in the first place.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 21:53:02

Whilst some might, I highly dispute your claim that "most" do.

financialnightmare Sun 16-Jun-13 21:49:01

> What the fuck would be achieved by contacting her landlord?? Nothing except putting the tenancy in jeopardy.

Not at all. She will be on a specialist tenancy or licence with a specialist landlord. I work in this field. You just enquire as to who is providing her supported housing. Most people with mental ill health live in private lettings of some sort, often owned by charities.

herecomesthsun Sun 16-Jun-13 21:45:52

I think that giving information about her situation to either mental health services or social services would be very sensible. Making it as detailed and factual as possible would also be helpful. For example, giving dates and times of when events happened, and word for word quotes of what she said as far as possible. If she has been assessed for section then she will have a record with the local mental health services as well as social services, if you write a letter to one you could copy it to the other.

However, treatment for mental illness is not exactly "supervision". There are a few patients on section or on a community treatment order but they are in a minority and the issue of how to ensure that people take their medication is a complex one. In fact, current good practice leans towards talking about not "patients" but "service users" and not "compliance" with medication but "concordance" or "adherence" because these terms imply more autonomy on the part of the people with the illness.

There is a huge human rights issue with the whole issue of sectioning. On the one hand, ensuring people who are vulnerable get treatment- and be sectioned if necessary - but also wanting to protect the rights of people with mental illness. Therefore, there is a complicated and thorough system of state-funded appeals and tribunals against sections and treatment orders. There is of course also the question of risk and safety in the community. I think some behaviours of people who are service users might be preventable with treatment, but others aren't - it is complex. I can also see that the issue of confidentiality makes it more difficult from the outside to understand what is happening with a service user.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 21:15:36

Ido accept those points herecomesthesun and chunderella. I am not proposing to do nothing and hope someone else sorts it out. And I know that without knowing what her actual condition is I shouldn't speculate about treatment plans.

However, I do think that any supervision she may be under at the moment is not enough. So I shall report her tomorrow and see if I can get her a bit more help. I do really feel very sorry for her. She had her own dd taken off her and adopted a few years back, so she must be under ss. I just feel since then her behaviour has become more erratic and unpredictable. I understand that she was not capable of looking after the child but the need to care for her own dd did give her a focus, and a routine. Since that has been taken away she just roams the streets.

Mental health issues do affect a lot of people and it breaks my heart when people like this lady appear to have nobody left who cares about them. She has no friends, no family that I have ever seen other than the daughter who was removed from her care several years ago and I expect she is desperately lonely apart from anything else.

herecomesthsun Sun 16-Jun-13 20:24:22

The question of treatment depends on her diagnosis. Or on the existence of symptoms of mental illness.

For example, if someone has schizophrenia, that would be some out of a longish list e.g.
-hearing voices
-delusions
-negative symptoms (impaired ability to do normal activities of daily living)

Being threatening and violent/ unpleasant might arise out of a mental illness of this sort - but might not! If it arises out of intoxification from drugs or alcohol for example, it probably wouldn't be appropriate to section the person (unless there were another mental illness present as well for example).

Personality disorders also complicate the picture. People with personality disorders might conceivably be violent or unpleasant, but there isn't usually an obvious medication that will change their behaviour (these days, there are psychological approaches, but the person has to want to engage with them).

I guess what I am trying to say is that it is a lot more complicated than banging the person up and/or giving them pills.

Chunderella Sun 16-Jun-13 20:05:26

If I had a neighbour who was walking around carrying a claw hammer and shouting abuse, I'd be doing a damn sight more than hoping the system would work for them. My duty to do all I can to keep DD safe requires nothing less. For the record I've a parent with quite serious MH issues, so I know a fair bit about stigmatising and can see there's been some bilge spouted about MH generally on this thread. But the idea that doing nothing other than hope is a sensible response to this situation is asinine.

Jamillalliamilli Sun 16-Jun-13 19:01:50

I agree with fireside. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I live next to very guileful, dangerous, mentally ill NDN who has attacked several times including two police officers.

She at least sort of believes the ridiculous accusations she makes at the time she makes them, and justifies violent, revolting or indecent behaviour, and trying to force her way in to my home, and onto me.

I’m in a wheelchair and that fact escaped her completely when justifying jumping out of my bushes screaming at me that she hoped I broke the rest of my back too, and her justification was claiming this was because I’d run at her, attacked her and made a hole in her head, and another neighbour had had to pull me off her.

Now she’s coming up to me saying that episode was me ‘falling over’ and demanding to know how I am now, and if I'm better, and why I won’t take her to get a dog because hers keep dying; with no apparent awareness she reported me to the police as supposedly poisoning the last one! (despite being told that her feeding it chocolate was the cause)

We are all badly flooded out and in trouble, but she's convinced many people that a serious flood in which 26 people may lose their homes, is I left my tap on and flooded her next door and now won't fix her home, and she's old (not that much more than me actually) and I should.
People buy into it until they see the level of damage and building props.

Her guileful manipulations don’t make her any less mentally ill, or less deserving of help, just harder to deal with.

Sparkly If she’s unwell and potentially out of control then the only thing you can do is keep reporting to as many agencies that are responsible for her and your safety, and try to get her help, and you respite.

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