Heartbroken family demands in mental health reforms after young dad’s death

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THE family of Jordan Osborne have pledged to fight for reforms in adult mental health care following his tragic death.

Jordan’s dad, Wayne, said urgent changes were needed to give families more of a say into how their loved ones are being treated.

Jordan Osborne with his baby son, Jaxon

Jordan Osborne with his baby son, Jaxon

It comes as a coroner admitted the current system left many families in the lurch, with privacy laws blocking them from assisting mental health workers.

Jordan had been attending regular sessions with the Havant Community Mental Health Team at the Parkway Centre before he took his life.

However, an inquest into his death heard his family was never consulted with about his treatment and were unable to give vital information about the young dad’s suicidal state of mind.

Nicki Duffin, head of nursing and quality care for East Hampshire area for adult mental health with Southern Health, admitted staff had no idea Jordan was in such a ‘dark place’ and regularly contemplating suicide.

She said the current system was too restrictive and relied on adult patients disclosing how they felt to mental health nurses, adding: ‘It is hard going because up until 18 the parents are really involved and then at 65 the children of the parents become involved. But it’s the 18 to 65 that’s the problem.’

Mr Osborne said the system needed to be ‘overhauled’.

‘How you can take the word of somebody who is so mentally debilitated that they’d rather end their life as gospel, without involving the family, is just ludicrous,’ he said.

Coroner David Horsley said it was a situation he was all too aware of and one that had affected a number of families.

‘This is not the first time I have heard this from families about this difficulty with adult patients and sharing information,’ he said. ‘And I’m not blaming Southern Health because it’s not Southern Health’s fault but it’s part of the ethos of treating mental health problems ‘

He added: ‘If there’s a change in the culture and philosophy of it all then other people may be saved.’

Mrs Duffin said there was work going on to improve the situation and that they were trying to introduce collaborative care plans which would involve families in a greater way.

But speaking after the inquest, Mr Osborne said: ‘All these people have told us they’re “trying” to improve things. Well while they’re “trying” young people are dying. This “trying” isn’t helping anyone. There are things that can be done right now that could help people, that could save lives.’