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.

loopylou6 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:16:01

Unfortunately, this is how innocent people lose their lives, because society fails.

Fraxinus Sun 16-Jun-13 15:17:08

How do you know she was sectioned? She could have gone into institution voluntarily and then she has the right to release herself.

I am not an expert, but i have not heard of people being sectioned and then released after 3 days. I would have thought it took longer than that.

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 15:20:06

That's quite scary and sad sad

YANBU

AnAirOfHope Sun 16-Jun-13 15:20:11

YANU but there is no money for care in the community or anywhere else.

All that you can do is report her to adult ss and keep calling the police.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:20:24

The neighbour who telephoned the police last weekend (who incidentally is a council leader and seems to know just about everything!) said they had sectioned her under the mental health act due to the blades in her bra and pants. That may be incorrect I guess. And there were people in her house the next day, cleaning and airing it out. We assumed ss, but don't know for sure.

Tee2072 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:21:44

Keep reporting her. Call SS directly. Not much else you can do.

AnAirOfHope Sun 16-Jun-13 15:22:41

She needs a community nurse to administer her meds every day but there is too few nursers and not enought money to employ them.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 15:23:26

people are sectioned for 28 days ( I think) not 3 days if this woman is a danger phone the police do it every time she does something you think is dangerous to her and the public ,

valiumredhead Sun 16-Jun-13 15:26:18

People aren't sectioned for 3 days.

Ring the police every time you are concerned, nothing else you can do.

McNewPants2013 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:26:49

I would stop listening to gossip and treating it as fact.

Just keep reporting her that's all you can do.

Fraxinus Sun 16-Jun-13 15:29:12

Hmmm yes, listening to gossip and treating it as fact.... I have done that before, and sometimes it really trips you up. Bit like making assumptions.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:29:29

Just read the mental health act, it's UP TO 28 days for assessment. Not necessarily the whole 28 days. That's under section 2. If a longer stay is required they then apply for a 6 month detainment order under section 3.

I am just going to have to keep reporting her aren't I? I genuinely worry about my kids if she is around. The vile stuff she spouts should not be heard by anyone, but certainly not my (or any) young children sad

onemoredayplease Sun 16-Jun-13 15:30:08

I would think she should have a mental health follow up. I would keep reporting every incident to police and if they are out again I would challenge them as to what's happening re: ongoing management of this lady. They may not know I'm a general nurse so not sure how mental health works now. Used to be community psychiatric nurses who would monitor this type of person.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 15:31:13

am just going to have to keep reporting her aren't I? I genuinely worry about my kids if she is around. The vile stuff she spouts should not be heard by anyone, but certainly not my (or any) young children

yes you are just keep ringing the police it is really all you can do,sadly and try and keep your children away from her

onemoredayplease Sun 16-Jun-13 15:31:29

Keep kids away. Easier said than done I know but she sounds unpredictable and a risk to them.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 15:31:55

They wouldn't have told the other neighbor she had been sectioned, patient confidentiality. So stop gossiping for starters.

The mental health system fails people. She evidently needs more support than she's getting, as do so many other people out there. But finances prevent this from happening.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Sun 16-Jun-13 15:36:02

Section 136 of the MH Act 1983 allows for detention for up to 72 hours... Just sayin.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Sun 16-Jun-13 15:36:07

Its terrifying that people with MH issues are abandoned in this way and just left to their own devices when they need support. There's just not the help available sad

plinkyplonks Sun 16-Jun-13 15:39:01

Mental Health issues definitely not dealt with as they should be in this country. All you can do is keep on contacting the police and SS.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:39:18

I am not gossiping. I am genuinely concerned about this woman and anyone she accosts. We live in a tourist town and I have seen her verbally abuse strangers, visitors to the town and having been on the receiving end of her vitriolic abuse I sympathise with anyone she abuses in this way.

I am aware that the mental health system is lacking funds, but I am also aware that this woman is a genuine risk, not just to others but to herself.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:42:04

grasshopperandchipmunk that would make sense. She was definitely back on the streets on Thursday, having been detained on Sunday. Doesn't seem long enough to get someone stabilised though, and when I saw her in town on Thursday she was causing a seen so definitely not sorted out in any sense.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:43:16

Scene#

SnowyMouse Sun 16-Jun-13 15:49:01

I think the S. 136 allows time for a S. 2 or S. 3 if needed - people can go straight to a S. 3 if they are known to services and treatment in hospital is needed.

Iactuallydothinkso Sun 16-Jun-13 15:49:06

I'm sorry you're living with such unpredictability. I expect she was detained but her mental state was not so bad under their criteria to keep her for longer than the 72 hours for assessment.

I have seen the build up to a sectioning and it was very worrying indeed. It was my child's father, my ex, and it was terrifying and yes, I kept my child away. There was no way on this planet that someone so unpredictable was getting anywhere near us.

You can only keep reporting, keep a diary of everything and keep out of the way as much as you can.

Casmama Sun 16-Jun-13 15:52:35

72 hrs for an emergency section see here

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 15:53:37

If you and the other neighbor are telling each other, and I suspect other people, that she's been sectioned, then yes, you are gossiping.

Dawndonna Sun 16-Jun-13 15:55:16

Keep calling the police, they get so hacked off hanging on to her until they can find a responsible adult that they get arsy with the mental health team and things start to move.
Feel sorry for the poor woman, out there, frightened and with no support. Start ringing mental health services on Monday too. There should be a community psychiatric team that you can call, they will be the people dealing with her whilst she is at home.

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 15:57:11

Wouldn't you "gossip" about someone you felt was a serious danger to themselves and everyone around them, *SirBoobAlot"?

BaconKetchup Sun 16-Jun-13 15:57:22

woops, SirBoobAlot

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:57:42

Thank you, it's so hard because although its clear that she's got issues she can come across as perfectly reasonable. When my mother phoned the police a few months ago she had been loudly accusing us of all sorts, shouting vile (impossible) things at us. As soon as the police arrived she managed to compose herself and was all sweetness and light (whilst telling them they should be arresting me for raping her?!?!? I am a mother of four children and it was 10 am in a residential street!). Luckily the police were already aware of her, and they were sympathetic to me (I was a tearful wreck, she had been shouting in the street that I abuse my baby. I don't, but it only takes one person to take her seriously and then I'd be under investigation and my child could be put under all sorts of unnecessary and intrusive tests).

I used to feel really sorry for her. And I still sympathise, I know she is ill, and if she took her meds she would probably be fine, but she scares me.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 15:58:40

No. I'd be hoping the system would work for them, and hoping that whatever illness she was suffering from would be treated.

BeauNidle Sun 16-Jun-13 16:01:02

Different sections. Staringt with nurse holding power of 6 hours and then it can go up from there. The section times are the maximum section times, but the people can be released from section at any time within that timescale iyswim

ChestyNut Sun 16-Jun-13 16:02:55

Section 4 of the mental health act is for 72 hours in an emergency to allow for initial assessment.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 16:03:31

And I still sympathise, I know she is ill, and if she took her meds she would probably be fine, but she scares me.

I think that the fact she is scaring you is really important that you keep calling also phone Social services adult team as somebody else suggested the mental health unit but Adult social services would be a start ,

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Sun 16-Jun-13 16:03:56

Yeah I agree with sirboob. Its one thing to report to the appropriate people and its another to discuss the ins and outs of it or information that shouldn't be shared (aka gossiping).

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 16:04:15

oh and thanks for clearing up the sectioning I really wasn't sure or aware they could be kept for just 72 hours

ihearsounds Sun 16-Jun-13 16:06:23

MH is n't just as simple as taking your meds and everything will be fine. Even with regular meds, you can still have 'off' days.

All you can do is keep calling police/ss.

Alas, Mh is greatly underfunded, and with the latest cuts this will worsen.

TheRealFellatio Sun 16-Jun-13 16:08:36

Look it doesn't matter whether she was, or was not sectioned, the OP has seen her ranting, incoherent, threatening, and walking around with an offensive weapon in her hand. And whether it is gossip or not, she has heard that the woman is wandering around with concealed blades in her clothes. Splitting hairs and trying to trip her up on semantics and technicalities smacks of fiddling while Rome burns.

Sparkly keep calling the police, SS, your local GP if you think she might be registered there, and anyone else you can think of, and document everything worrying/scary that she says and does. If you can film her (discreetly, without humiliating her, and without placing yourself in danger) then do that too.

If she gets worse and it appears that no action is taken go to your MP. 'Care' in the community is a bloody farce and fails the dangerously mentally ill and the people who live around them.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 16:08:54

you know what we have a man in our street he is an alcoholic and most of the time he is an absolute arsehole he shouts he swears and he threatens people and speaks inapropriatly (sp) to women and young girls mine included the filth that comes out of his mouth is not only disgusting but he scares people,( and yes I have called the police on him )
so yes the neighbours gossip about him he is a bloody nightmare when he is on a bende
r so talking about something on your street is actually quite normal so maybe they did gossip about this woman a little too much but she is dangerous and needs help

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 16:11:04

And actually your comment of 'if she took her meds she would probably be fine' is even worse than walking around telling people she's been sectioned. How many people have you said that to, apart from an entire internet forum? Mental illnesses aren't just all treated by popping a few pills every day.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:12:27

"Off days" are to be expected. She is like this constant and getting worse all the time. Gossip isn't what I would call it. One neighbour mentioning an episode to another is not gossip. It is concern for a neighbour. It wasn't malicious, just said in passing conversation.

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 16:13:52

* It is concern for a neighbour. It wasn't malicious, just said in passing conversation.*

you are right it wasn't gossip at all.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:17:43

Being made aware of potentially dangerous episodes is important. I am genuinely worried about this lady. I do not want to see her hurt herself or anyone else. I want to see her helped. And treated efficiently so she is no longer a danger. To herself or others.

GiddyStars Sun 16-Jun-13 16:22:09

As everyone has said, it depends which MH act she was sectioned under as to how long she was kept in.

Unfortunately every part of the MH framework in under massive strain and if you are seriously concerned about her own safety and the safety of others you need to report report report and make clear your concerns of physical harm to herself / others wrt the carrying of weapons etc.

If she is assessed as being 'ok' to be at home she may well be having visits from the community mental health team. Maybe these need to be upped to more frequent visits but don't assume that any reports made to the police or other services are necessarily making their way back to her support workers. Effective joined up working between various services doesn't always work as well as it should.

Might be worth flagging it up next time you speak to the police...'by the way does Mrs X have a community mental health nurse who these concerns of violence and threatening behaviour are being passed onto in case she needs a referral / review of her well being by more senior medical professionals'.

Other than that just keep an eye out. It's very sad and worrying.

GiddyStars Sun 16-Jun-13 16:22:59

It isn't gossip, you are doing the responsible thing.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 16:23:31

"X was quite ill, so I called the police. I hope she's okay." - Neighborly concern.

"X was quite ill, so I called the police. She's been sectioned, you know. If she just took her meds, she'd be fine, I'm sure." - Gossiping.

There's a difference.

Idrinksquash Sun 16-Jun-13 16:24:01

Mental illnesses aren't cured by popping a few pills y'know.

IgnatiusSprat Sun 16-Jun-13 16:25:39

People with mental health problems are failed in this country, day in day out. My MIL was mentally ill and sectioned many times, most privately at enormous expense to my FIL. She wasn't a danger to anyone else, just herself, so no one gave a shit. She od'd on Tramadol a couple of years ago and was picked up wandering around naked at 5 in the morning on a busy road, taken to hospital, and discharged six hours later. My DH called the hospital that day because she didn't know who he was, kept insisting that the FBI had put a tape in her brain telling her to kill herself, refused to get dressed and kept singing God Save the Queen. They told him there was nothing they could do. She went on like this for a fortnight until FIL managed to borrow £20,000 against their house and had her put in a private hospital for ten days. TEN DAYS. He couldn't afford any more than that and six months later she killed herself.

Care in the Community is a meaningless phrase. There is no care. There's nothing. Nobody gives a fuck. If MIL hadn't had a family she'd have ended up just like the woman the Op is talking about. As it is her illness destroyed herself and her family.

MummytoKatie Sun 16-Jun-13 16:29:14

I discuss with my neighbours the road near us with a 30 limit and a sweet shop and a primary school where cars like to travel at 60 mph.

Is it gossip or is it passing on information needed to help keep our children safe?

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Sun 16-Jun-13 16:32:36

sirboob has given a really good example of what makes this gossip.

GiddyStars Sun 16-Jun-13 16:33:00

What Ignatius said.

Call it gossiping if you like but people with serious MH problems only really get help if they have someone fighting in their corner. OP may not have professional understanding of MH issues as many of us don't and clumsy references to 'taking pills' but she is obviously seeking to help this woman. Making one call and then doing nothing else is not minding your own business, it simply means the poor woman will drop off the radar until something dreadful happens.

Seeking wider advice from a forum where hopefully someone with more knowledge may come along with a suggestion you hadn't thought of is in my opinion sensible and proactive, not gossipy.

firesidechat Sun 16-Jun-13 16:35:14

Keep reporting and when you think you've reported enough, report some more. I know that this is a total pain and shouldn't be your responsibility, but it may get her the help she needs in the end.

We have a close family member who has had severe mental health issues for many decades. While it was only the family suffering nothing was done. It was only when members of the public were at risk that action was finally taken and it was exhausting and devastating for all concerned. The lack of help and ultimately money to fund care for the mentally ill makes my blood boil.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:35:52

As someone who has myself suffered with clinical and PND in the past I am aware that popping pills is not the answer. Maybe that was an ill thought out comment. I apologise if it caused offence.

Mitchy1nge Sun 16-Jun-13 16:39:07

I don't get the bit about it being a tourist town. Is it a little interesting detail or do you mention it for a reason OP?

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:41:01

Mrs x was quite ill so I called the police- leads naturally to further questions!

Mrs x was sectioned- meant that we were aware she was not at home for a couple of days. Meaning we weren't questioning her absence.

Despite her vileness due to her illness (which should not be swept under the carpet) no one wants to see her come to any harm and we do worry about her if she is not seen for a day or two.

herecomesthsun Sun 16-Jun-13 16:41:58

Carrying blades etc. or being rude and threatening is not a symptom of a mental illness. In order to be sectioned she would actually have to have a treatable mental illness like depression or schizophrenia or need assessment for mental illlness. People can be dangerous or unpleasant or threatening without any evidence of treatable mental illness. 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.

If she doesn't have a sectionable mental illness but is a threat to other people's safety the police can however take other action, such as pressing charges relating to her behaviour.

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:43:45

Not really, just that, for visitors to the town she can be doubly scary, and as our publicity has not been great in recent months its another reason tourists may be put off visiting. She is well known to locals but visitors would not know to give her a wide birth.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 16:48:01

Herecomesthesun, you're wrong on so many levels. Especially with, " 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." That, put simply, is bollocks.

And God forbid she scares a few tourists hmm Seeing as one in four people suffer from a mental illness at some point in time, I'm sure that firstly, she isn't the only mentally ill person in your town, and secondly that your tourist town isn't the only one with someone who is severely ill.

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 16:52:39

When will the authorities and police sit up and listen, how many more lives should be lost as people are out in the community who really should be in prison or a mental health facility.

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 16:54:07

Anyone carrying knives and claw hammers in her state should not be out in te community

mrsjay Sun 16-Jun-13 16:54:13

Sirboob what do you think the Op and her neighbours should do not mention this woman's behaviour and just ignore her. she sounds dangerous for whatever reason she needs to be helped and other people need to feeland be safe where they live, I do not for one minute the OP is labeling all people with a mental health problems as the same as this woman that they are all going to wave blades and harass people
Disclaimer I know you or anybody on here said maniac

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 16:56:09

Meant state of mind. She needs to be kept inside for hers another's safety, the authorities do not always get it right and lives have been lost or people severely injured. She could have easily used those weapons against somebody

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 16:57:31

If op sees behaviour that concerns her she has every right to go to the police

valiumredhead Sun 16-Jun-13 16:57:48

Here-where on earth have you got all that from?confused

You can be sectioned to assess if you have a mental illnesses for starters, it's not just for people with existing problems.

valiumredhead Sun 16-Jun-13 17:00:14

And you are very very wrong about not bring mentally ill if you come across as reasonable etc.

valiumredhead Sun 16-Jun-13 17:00:28

Being not bring

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 17:00:38

I think all you can do is keep reporting your concerns to the police. I don't see the harm in discussing it with your neighbours

Mitchy1nge Sun 16-Jun-13 17:03:14

has she ever actually hurt anyone?

Mitchy1nge Sun 16-Jun-13 17:05:37

how do you know she had 'knives and blades concealed in her underwear' when she was picked up?

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 17:11:51

Someone witnessed her carrying knives and claw hammers. Why do we have to wait until someone gets hurt hmm she clearly needs help now!!!! She seems quite unstable and volitile

IgnatiusSprat Sun 16-Jun-13 17:17:36

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.

This is tripe but sadly so many people within the actual industry seem to believe it. I sat in waiting rooms with my MIL while she wept and clutched at me and told me that FIL had threatened to stab her if she didn't sign divorce papers (rubbish, but she seriously believed it) only for her to be interviewed by a doctor minutes later where she sat perfectly composed and lucid and told him she wasn't sure why her family had made this appointment as she was perfectly sane and dandy. It was INFURIATING.

yamsareyammy Sun 16-Jun-13 17:17:37

I do not like gossip. but if "gossip" in this case gets the help that this woman needs, and stops people around her, including children from getting knifed, then I am all for some gossip in this particular case.

financialnightmare Sun 16-Jun-13 17:19:02

Do you know who is her landlord? Most likely it's a specialist landlord - contact them and report your concerns. They should be pleased to have the information.

There will be professionals visiting her - stop them and tell them.

Report it to the Police, preferably in a letter, cc to your local authority (council), the landlord, your local mental health trust.

Tell as many 'authorities' as you can - lots of problems happen because the right people don't know. Take photos, keep notes of her behaviour.

Speak to your local beat officer - ring police non-emergency line and say you'd like to speak to someone about it.

Yes MH is much understood but unfortunately the lack of communication between agencies is a massive problem too. Spreading the word to the right people will help.

Good luck - it's grim.

SirBoobAlot Sun 16-Jun-13 17:21:52

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

Jesus Christ.

DyouSeeWhatISee Sun 16-Jun-13 17:22:10

Sirboobalot, your self-righteousness is a soupcon annoying. Can you just lecture tell us what would be the politically correct thing to do?

Sparklymommy Sun 16-Jun-13 17:24:13

The claw hammer she was yielding about in the street. The neighbour who reported her witnessed her handing over the blades in her underwear.

SirBoobAlot I accept a few tourists being upset is not the end of the world. The town we live in has several eccentrics and people with mh issues. When these are controlled it is not a problem. My dh works with a gentleman with controlled schizophrenia who is a lovely chap and keeps his illness under control with regular check ups, some medication and a mental health nurse.

My concern for this lady is that whilst everyone appears to be "aware" of her no one seems to be actively helping her. And in recent months she has become a lot worse. I think she truly believes the vitriol she spouts when she is in a frenzy. That is not just anti-social behaviour, she is clearly unwell. I will ring adult ss tomorrow I think.

pigletmania Sun 16-Jun-13 17:26:27

Yes people do get together and talk about shared experiences especially if it's affecting those around her. Keep contacting the police and psychiatric unit in te hospital

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 16-Jun-13 17:30:39

Sirboob I don't think the OP is worried about tourists/neighbours being upset as much as she is worried about them being attacked with a hammer....?

Fraxinus Sun 16-Jun-13 17:30:49

Gossiping is one thing. Treating it as fact Is different.

firesidechat Sun 16-Jun-13 17:42:13

* 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.*

Not true!

My relative was very, very ill. However she could behave perfectly normally when faced with a doctor or someone with the power to have her sectioned. She was very intelligent and cunning (sorry that's not a nice word but no other word explains it better) and it delayed her getting proper treatment for many years. I've also read many cases were mentally ill people have managed to fool the authorities in the same way. The way the OP describes this lady would strongly suggest mental illness.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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,

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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