‘Catalogue of failures’ led to man taking his own life, MSP claims

Scotland’s mental health minister is to meet with the family of a man who took his own life after contacting health services eight times in the week before he died.

Luke Henderson was found dead on December 29 last year at his home in Motherwell where he lived with his partner and two children.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon spoke about Mr Henderson at First Minister’s Questions, saying lessons must be learned from the “catalogue of failures that led to his preventable death”.

She said: “A few days after celebrating Christmas with his partner Karen and their two young children, my constituent Luke Henderson completed suicide.

“As reported in the Sunday Post, Luke pleaded with health services for help eight times in the six days directly before he died, but was either turned away or referred elsewhere.

“Nothing will bring Luke back, but his family desperately want to know that lessons have been learned from the catalogue of failures that led to his preventable death.

“Will the First Minister please ask the minister for mental health to meet with Karen McKeown and take urgent action to review suicide prevention procedures in NHS Lanarkshire?”

Nicola Sturgeon said minister Clare Haughey will be happy to meet Mr Henderson’s family, and this will be set up as quickly as possible.

The First Minister said: “If there are lessons to be learned from this, or any case involving any health board, it is essential that that is done.”

She added the Government published its updated suicide prevention plan in the summer with a target for reductions and said each person who takes their own life is one too many.

Iain Mackenzie, acting general manager for mental health services at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We are aware of this tragic matter and undertook a review in line with Health Improvement Scotland guidelines, which aims to identify any learning points.

“Members of our patient affairs team have also subsequently met with Ms McKeown with a view to further investigate the issues raised by her, and the team is also liaising with the other services involved.

“The investigation is still ongoing and once it is complete we will share the findings with Ms McKeown.”

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