Suicidal mother took own life after release from mental health unit

Suicidal mother-of-two, 27, took her own life hours after release from mental health unit ‘having been told she couldn’t be detained just because she wanted to kill herself’

  • Sarah Moore, 27, of Derby had repeatedly warned she intended to end her life
  • Mother-of-two found dead after being released from Radbourne Unit in city
  • Told police ‘keeping me safe was not a good enough reason for me to be there’
  • She claimed psychiatric unit ‘handed me opportunity on a plate’ to kill herself

Sarah Moore 27, who had repeatedly warned she intended to end her life, was found dead

A mother-of-two was allegedly released from a mental health unit after being told she could not be detained just because she wanted to kill herself.

Sarah Moore, 27, who had repeatedly warned she intended to end her life, was found dead after being released from the Radbourne Unit in Derby.

She had sent a detailed email to police telling them she had been sent home because ‘keeping me safe was not a good enough reason for me to be there’.

Now her grieving father has revealed the emails Miss Moore sent police and entries from an emotional diary she kept while in hospital detailing the increasing anguish of her final days and hours.

Robert Moore says his daughter, who was found dead at a park on February 20 this year, wrote that she repeatedly told health staff at the psychiatric unit of her intentions to take her own life.

But rather than care for her the suicidal woman, who repeatedly spoke of her desire to kill herself, she claimed they ‘handed me the opportunity on a plate’.

Mother-of-two Miss Moore was allegedly released from a mental health unit after being told she could not be detained just because she wanted to kill herself

Miss Moore was discharged from the unit on February 19. Documents reveal she had attempted to take her own life while previously at the facility.

As her final act she wrote an email to police, saying: ‘It’s Sarah here. Thought I would let you guys know they discharged me today.

‘(They) told me that just keeping me safe wasn’t a good enough reason to keep me there and there was nothing more they could do for me.

‘They know I left with a suicide plan. They felt it was worth taking the risk because realistically, how many people actually go ahead and go through with their suicide plans successfully? 

‘I made it clear to them my intent, they didn’t care. So now I can finally go ahead with my decision with the knowledge that it’s an OK thing to do because I have capacity to make that decision. If I want to die that is my right.

‘None of my family know I am out of hospital so I have taken myself away somewhere quiet to do what I need to do. I’m sorry that the support of you guys and the services wasn’t enough for me, but I have everything I need now to disappear quietly.’

In another email, she said the hospital ‘knew of my plans when they discharged me’, but she claimed they discharged her because it would ‘reflect badly’ on them if she absconded and killed herself while still a patient.

Miss Moore wrote: ‘(A staff member) also knew exactly what my plans were on leaving the hospital. They didn’t want me to abscond the ward and kill myself because that would reflect badly on them.

Miss Moore was found dead after being released from the Radbourne Unit (pictured) in Derby

‘So instead they discharged me, stating there was nothing more they could do to help in hospital, keeping me safe was not a good enough reason for me to be there.

‘So, I left the hospital and did exactly as I told them I would do. I don’t feel anything. I’m not sad, angry, upset, happy, I don’t feel anything. The staff knew of the plans and the fact I am not willing to leave this attempt to chance like I have other attempts.

‘I trusted them to keep me safe this time. I was clearly wrong too.’

She said staff at the hospital had ‘handed me the opportunity on a plate’ and ‘given me the perfect scenario to go ahead with my plans’.

Another email added: ‘My phone is going to die so I can’t talk much more. All I really wanted to say was thank you to those of you who tried to help me and encouraged me to try and get help.

‘Unfortunately, I’m one person who isn’t going to be saved. I haven’t the strength or courage to keep fighting anymore. I feel completely dead inside and I can’t stand to even live another day.’

The emails were sent moments to a police force outside Derbyshire which Miss Moore had been speaking to.

In one diary entry written a month before her death, Miss Moore wrote about ‘waiting for my opportunity to leave and kill myself’.

On January 26 she talked about different ways in which she wanted to take her own life.

She wrote: ‘My phone will be dead so no one will be able to track my movements or get hold of me. I will take a pen and some paper to leave a brief suicide note as I don’t want my death to be put down as misadventure.’

‘I feel like I’m wasting people’s time so much right now. The people around me need help so I don’t want to waste their time.’

At the start of February, one diary entry read: ‘I feel like I am now biding my time, for the right time to leave. They will let their guard down eventually. They can’t keep me wrapped up in cotton wool forever.’

Two days later, she wrote: ‘There are really poorly people who need the help and I’m sat here, if they just let me go and die then it would be one less problem.’

A diary entry, signed on the same day at 4pm, on February 11, read: ‘So, finally I’ve been let go from the world. They can’t help me. Which I knew they couldn’t in the first place.

‘Being in the community I can’t be helped either. That’s what we have been doing on and off for the last two years. I don’t know what happens after death, but I’m not bothered about that.

‘I know many people have felt as I do now and they have turned their lives around but I’m just not prepared to drag myself through that hell with the kids getting caught up in it. It’s not right. 

‘They deserve to be able to be happy in their lives they’ve had. Do I think more could have been done to help me with my mental health over the last few years? Yes I do.

‘But our society has meant that is not a possibility. Do I think it will get better? No, not if they don’t start paying attention to cases like mine and see how bad people are being let down.

‘There is no single person that can bring about the changes that are needed. I have commented on several occasions how I have a great community psychiatric nurse but unfortunately the efforts of just that one professional is not enough.

‘Communication between services is poor and their ability to cope with a person who does not fit their ‘norm’ is even poorer. Mental ill health shouldn’t be a killer and it should not be left un-treated until it becomes a killer.’

On the day of her release, she wrote about her children giving her ‘so much love and hope, they kept me going for so long. The two most wonderful, caring, loving human beings I have ever met’.

Her father said Miss Moore’s mental health problems began at the age of 14, when she started self-harming after being badly bullied at school.

The problems plagued her for the rest of her life as she continued to self-harm and she tried to take her own life several times. Despite her battles, she had jobs including working at a nursing home and her own business baking cakes.

Her body was found just 18 hours after she was released back into the community.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the unit, sent its ‘deepest condolences’ to her family and said an investigation is under way into whether more could have been done to prevent her death.

A spokesman for the trust said: ‘As a trust we are committed to the monitoring of service users within our inpatient mental health units on an ongoing basis, to ensure they are receiving the most appropriate support for their individual clinical needs.

‘When a serious incident occurs, we will undertake a thorough internal investigation in order to identify any learning or improvements that can be made to Trust services to prevent a similar set of circumstances happening again. Such internal investigations look at all available evidence and written documentation.

‘These investigations also encourage the involvement of family members and will explore any issues they have raised, in order to provide further information and insight.

‘The trust has a family liaison team in place, which is available to family members throughout this process, to help families understand and participate in the investigation process and also access appropriate support.’

For confidential support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See samaritans.org for details. 

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