A closer look at suicide and mental health issues
Most people don't take suicide seriously until it hits them personally. Unfortunately, suicide affects many Americans. Suicide facts are stark: Every day, about 98 Americans will die by suicide and more than 2,400 people will attempt to take their own lives. Each year, 36,035 people die by their own hand. On average one person every 14.6 minute kills themselves in the United States. Every 35 seconds someone in the United States will attempt suicide. Every day about 6 inpatients will kill themselves in a hospital, usually by hanging. This fact is alarming since the patients were admitted to the hospitals to protect them from attempting suicide.
At the Law Offices of Skip Simpson, we know that suicide can be prevented if competent care is provided. We have a passion for the safety of each American and their respective communities. By taking legal action against negligent psychiatric hospitals and mental health care providers, we know they are held more accountable for standards of care. Without the threat of litigation, psychiatrists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals are no longer held accountable.
Why people die by suicide
Some people who die by suicide do so to stop what is called psychache, which is the hurt, anguish or ache that takes hold in the mind. Most people with excessive psychological pain do not die by suicide. They may, however, be admitted to a hospital, either voluntarily or involuntarily. They may have displayed signs of suicide prior to hospitalization.
When people who are experiencing psychache are admitted to a hospital, they typically feel completely helpless, hopeless and are usually very agitated and anxious. They need care, constant observation and medication to address their anxiety. Unfortunately, they might not get the medical attention they desperately need. The clinicians and the hospital staff are underpaid and are stretched thin with their workload. Consequently patients are often watched only every 15 minutes, instead of at a higher level of observation like one-to-one or in line of sight of a hospital employee. This inadequate level of observation has nothing to do with the proper standard of care. It has everything to do with inadequate staffing and decisions made on the basis of money and not safety. That's unacceptable.
Survivors of leaps from the Golden Gate Bridge have said they would not have jumped if they received one smile from one person. No one smiles and they end up jumping.
Similarly, in hospitals, patients sometimes start to feel like they don't matter when the staff treats them like "business as usual." They feel they have no respect. They feel they have no reason to live. They lose hope.
When the patient dies by suicide, the family and friends of the person are often shocked. They feel guilty for putting their loved one into the facility. We understand the pain and suffering loved ones go through after hearing the terrible news.
What an attorney can do for surviving family members
If you lost a loved one due to mental health care malpractice, speak with an experienced attorney. A suicide brings shock and overwhelming grief. You may feel guilty, but keep in mind you did nothing wrong. One of the suicide myths is that nothing can be done to stop someone from taking his life. We believe the failure lies with the psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who did not provide the kind of care that they were expected to provide. While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, legal action can hold mental health care providers accountable. Your actions will help to save the lives of others experiencing the same suffering.
In every single case our office has pursued target hospitals and clinicians have changed their policies and procedures after litigating with our firm. Before litigation psychiatric hospitals were involved in needlessly dangerous practices. After the law suit is filed and errors are exposed, hospitals change their dangerous procedures.
Break the cycle. Contact us for an evaluation of your case.