In New Zealand we monitor the safety of prescription drugs through CARM - the Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring. The system is supposed to work like this: medical professionals report any adverse reactions or side effects they suspect may be related to prescription drug use. CARM collect these reports and they are analysed to identify any risks associated with particular medications. Here's why it doesn't work: medical professionals don't report.
After nearly three years the inquest was finally held into the death of Deb's daughter Cloudy. Deb had two key objectives - to challenge the secrecy around suicide in NZ and to present evidence that would lead the coroner to make recommendations for change in a number of areas.
All go in the CASPER office (aka my lounge) this week! Deb's daughter Cloudy's inquest is on Wednesday almost three years after her death. The path to the inquest has been torturous being made far more difficult than it had to be by those who are supposed to be facilitating the process.
It has been reported today that the McKeown family have been ordered to pay $11,000 to the DHB responsible for their son's care at the time he suicided while in a psychiatric facility. The HDC report shows that Anthony was diagnosed with 'factitious disorder' ie according to his psychiatrists had no mental disorder and was making up his symptoms. That didn't stop them putting him on a range of anti-psychotic and other psychotropic drugs.
get a new kitten that is. Hard decision but the lonliness since Bug died is immense and I'm going crazy not having anyone to talk to or take care of. Bug's brother has fathered a litter of kittens and I've been offered one and can pick him up tomorrow.
In the past few weeks have met so many wonderful people who are offering help services for people suffering loss and trauma. At CASPER we are not in a position to endorse any of these services but I'm encouraging people to post something about what they offer and their contact details on the forum. This lets people know what is available and that there really are lots of choices out there for people seeking support.
Went to the ShoreSafe presentation on Thursday. First up they showed a webcast from SPINZ which had a doctor making the claim that those who recieve treatment almost never go on to commit suicide. When I asked how they reconciled that with the report of the DG of Mental Health in October that those under the care of MH services are 25 times more likely to suicide than non service users they said they hadn't read the report.
Last week I was asked to go to Sydney, Australia to be interviewed for a DVD on the role of psychiatry and psychotropic drugs in suicide. Having just returned from a round trip to a conference which involved 10 hours driving and dealing with the death of Toran's cat Bug, I was tired and emotional and worried I wasn't up to the task of telling Toran's story for the cameras. From the moment I arrived in Sydney however I felt really energised.
The Chief Coroner seems to have his head firmly around the need to investigate the systemic (not just individual)causes of classes of sudden deaths to see what lessons can be learned. In the last week or so he has ordered inquiries into cycle deaths and the Pike River mine deaths. There were five cycle deaths in a week. Twenty fine people died in the mine. 541 PEOPLE DIED FROM SUICIDE LAST YEAR JUDGE MCLEAN - AN AVERAGE OF 10 PER WEEK. Why are you not ordering an inquiry into suicide in NZ?
Went to the Solace candlelighting ceremony for victims of suicide last night. Its a strange feeling to be amongst people who you relate to really closely but wish you had nothing in common with. As I placed Toran's photo at the front of the church, I was overwhelmed with the shock of his being part of the group of people who had died by suicide. I guess I alwsys thought his picture would be up with the world's leading scientists or lawyers or architects, not the people who died violently and alone as children.