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"Are Guernsey's mental health services coping?" asks Deputy

Friday 21 May 2021

"Are Guernsey's mental health services coping?" asks Deputy


A plea is being made for more information on whether islanders are getting the support they need from Guernsey's mental health services.

Deputy Lester Queripel will pose questions in the States next Wednesday about the silent crisis that some people in the community have faced in the last year.

"I'm really concerned about the effect the pandemic is having on the mental health of islanders," said Deputy Queripel, who will ask HSC President Al Brouard if the number of deaths by suicide has increased in the past year. 

He will also ask if there has been an increase in demand for Guernsey's mental health services.

"If so, I want to know if the President is able to give me an assurance that the service is able to cope with the increase and that everyone who asks for assistance and support from the service, actually receives the assistance and support they ask for, and isn't just left to deal with their problems themselves."

Answers to a recent Access to Public Information request about suicide rates revealed that there were 5 verdicts of suicide and 2 pending inquests from 2020, compared to 4 verdicts of suicide and 10 pending inquests from 2019.

mags_Court_2.jpg

Pictured: Suicide is a coroner's verdict of the cause of death which can only be given following an inquest. These are heard in Guernsey's Magistrate's Court.

One month into Guernsey's second lockdown earlier this year, there had been 43 call-outs for acute mental health situations and self-harming. Bailiwick Law Enforcement also responded to an increasing number of domestic violence reports, with refuge beds at capacity and charities having to seek out extra accommodation.

HSC President Al Brouard responded to questions from Express in February about the ability and capacity of Guernsey's health services to cope with the needs of our population. 

“We could always invest more into mental health and all healthcare services, but we do have some good services here,” said Deputy Brouard in response.

“These services are not overwhelmed, so please use them.”

The Rule 11 questions will be posed in the States Chamber and there will be opportunities for follow-up questions from Deputy Queripel and other States members.

Pictured top: Deputy Lester Queripel and the Oberlands Centre. 

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