Cury woman sent home by mental health service died the day after threatening to kill herself

First published in News

A Cury woman sent home by the mental health service despite threatening to kill herself was found dead the next day.

Helen Allwright, from Parc Enys, took an overdose of insulin, although consultant pathologist Dr Hugh Jones said it was not possible to say for sure this was the cause of death. There were no indications of an alternative cause.

An inquest in Truro heard the 36-year-old had a history of self-harming and attempting to take her own life, but usually then contacted the emergency services herself to ensure her safety.

Dr Darren Mackintosh, a consultant psychiatrist who saw Ms Allwright on February 22, 2012, the day before she was found dead, said there was nothing to suggest that this case would be any different.

She had been taken to Longreach House near Redruth by police, following a night in a police cell for own safety due to the specialist mental health suite being unavailable.

It followed a phone call between Ms Allwright and her GP Dr Rachel Blackham, of the Mullion and Constantine Group Practice, who was sufficiently concerned to contact the mental health team.

Ms Allwright had told her she had placed her pet dogs into kennels and planned to kill herself with an insulin overdose.

Dr Blackham was advised to speak to police about a welfare check and officers subsequently spent three hours speaking with Ms Allwright before taking her into their care.

In a statement read out at the inquest, social worker Hayden Mainwaring said it was decided not to detain Ms Allwright as historically this had tended to increase the risk of her self-harming.

The inquest heard that Ms Allwright had left two notes, but Dr Mackintosh said this had also happened previously, adding: “Unfortunately it isn’t a clear indication there was suicidal intent.”

In her interview that day she was described as being “bright and bubbly.”

Coroner Barrie Van den Berg recorded an open verdict, saying the evidence did “not fully disclose exactly what happened and why it happened.”

Speaking after the hearing Ms Allwright’s brother Rob said she had been working with doctors giving training into the mind of someone with mental health difficulties, including teaching at the Peninsula Medical School.

He said: “She was trying to help them understand what’s going through somebody’s mind. She wasn’t just in it for herself.”

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