Please Listen To Lisa


2015-05-11Lisa Naylor

Niamh Kelly writes:

I am writing on behalf on my friend Lisa Naylor, who is too unwell to write herself. Lisa has been battling depression and an eating disorder for many years, and has been surviving quite well until recently. Four weeks ago her community team diagnosed her with a major depressive episode and recommended that she goes into inpatient care to maintain her own safety, as she is extremely suicidal and has tried multiple times to end her life.
She has tried both the public and private system and due to overcrowding and paperwork, four weeks later she is at home alone all day every day fighting every minute to survive. She is tired and has given up. She no longer wants the pain of life and cannot keep begging for help only to be turned away at every avenue.
Below is a copy of an email she sent three days ago to the Minister for Health and the Mental Health Commission.I, and all of Lisa’s loved ones are praying and fighting her case as best we can and would really appreciate if you could highlight this issue.

My name is Lisa Naylor, I am 30 years old and I suffer from depression and an eating disorder. I have been struggling with this current period of illness for over a year and have attempted suicide multiple times and been hospitalised twice; once in John of Gods and once in Lois Bridges. I am currently under the care of Coolock Mental Health Clinic, and have been put under home care as I was seen as too unwell to attend my local day hospital.

Four weeks ago I advised my registrar that I could no longer see a way out of my depression and could not guarantee my safety. After extensive interviews with my doctor, nurses and a local consultant it was decided I needed a short stay in hospital in order to ensure my safety and give my mind a rest from the constant struggle with my self harm and suicidal impulses.

Luckily, I have health insurance, and referrals were immediately sent to St John of Gods and St Patrick’s Hospitals asking for admission for a major depressive episode. In the last four weeks I have spent my days fighting against every fibre of my being to give in to the never ending voices in my head, urging me to end my pain.

I have been self harming almost daily and spend hours face down in a toilet, forcing myself to throw up whatever I have eaten. I feel no joy, I feel no contentment, I feel nothing but self loathing and pain. All day, everyday.

I have been told that as a result of my eating disorder I must wait until the end of May for an assessment in St Pat’s, that I cannot be given a bed to keep me safe until after this date. St John of God’s refuses to answer multiple phone calls and voice mails about an admission.

I have been advised that the public ward in Beaumont is not an option as they are at crisis point. My very dedicated HSE team have literally run out of options and can give me no answers or reassurances.

I am 30, I am suffering, and I have nothing left to give. It took everything I had to tell my doctor how I felt and it was all for nothing. I am going to die because I asked for help and nobody answered.

I am not sending you this email for pity, or dramatic effect, but to highlight the fact that something is very wrong with our mental health system. I am going to die because of paperwork. Please, do not let this happen to someone else.

Lisa Naylor

Down the hole, with a bumped head and bruised soul (Lisa Naylor)

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29 thoughts on “Please Listen To Lisa

    1. bronwyn

      lisa such pain and suffering for you. My experience with the HSE and getting treatment involved sectioning. The only way i could get a bed in the public system with back up and on going care was when the individual was a threat to themselves and the other.This involved the GP agreeing with the family and a process of phone calls to the acute unit attached to coolock. Lisa there are very compassionate loving therapists who can hold your pain. In my experience finding one of these therapists is not easy but they do exist. My heart is with you, you are so brave, i hope your story will be heard.

  1. Don Pidgeoni

    Oh Lisa love, I hope you get the care you need soon. Appalling that this is happening to you.

  2. Kevin

    Don’t give in, Lisa. Please try and focus on what you can bring to others and recognise the gifts you have. We all have them, and they’re not to be squandered or taken with you. You have them so you can share them. If you can hang on and keep pushing through the darkness, look for your friends, family and even strangers beyond the emptiness, and try and keep in mind that they may need you in their life more than you know. Your life is important. So are you. Get well soon.

  3. Murtles

    The HSE is a shambles as was pointed out in one of the Sunday papers yesterday by a guy who has worked around the world. Top heavy with managers seems to be the main problem.

    That’s obviously no use to poor Lisa. I’d urge her to contact Pieta House in the interim and hopefully she’d get some help quicker that the end of the month.

  4. Bobojoc

    I have a friend who has recently gone through an almost carbon copy of what Lisa is experiencing. After nearly two weeks of waiting to speak to a psycologist, the first thing he said to my friend was ‘no matter the outcome of his assesment, there are no beds available’. He was distressed having to say it. My friend was distressed to hear it. The health system is collapsing around us.
    Thankfully, my friend is now in receieving the appropriate care.

  5. The Bird in the Box

    It’s mad that there are never any qualms about funding the countless appeals of convicted killers, yet no appetite for investing in desperately needed mental health services. I’m not even sure this can be totally blamed on austerity; mental health has never been a priority for the budget-makers.

  6. Mick Flavin

    It’s an awful cliché, but hang in there Lisa.
    The state of psychiatric services in this country is in itself depressing. It was a crap system when we had money, so I can’t see where improvements are going to come from now.

  7. peakayy

    sorry to see this. unfortunately this government are a pack of coward dunderheads and have failed people with mental health issues in this country. shame on them get better soon Lisa.

  8. B

    very sad to hear this. Lisa you will get better don’t give up. maybe you should contact pieta house.

  9. Trishadem

    Dear Lisa I don’t know you at all but I feel for you. Your letter is very much from the heart and your voice should be heard. I hope it will be and that you get the help you need to go on. Thinking of you and wishing you the very best


  10. Paolo

    Our public services are not functioning because
    a: people are unwilling to pay for them
    b: they are not structured very efficiently
    c: too many people are taking more out than they put in due to a sense of entitlement

    People like Lisa and others suffer. It is time that everyone takes some responsibility for this. We need to make sure that those who need access to public services get it. We need to be willing to pay for those services and those services need to be efficient. There are too many scroungers in this country; non-domiciled tax avoiders, tax breaks for the rich, dole cheats, black market thieves and inefficient unsackable public servants all contribute to this situation.

  11. Anon

    This girl deserves better. Lisa comes across as a thoughtful,intelligent,articulate girl who has so much to give. She has talents she is probably unaware of and I really hope the powers that be do something before it’s too late. Ring RTE,get your voice heard on one of the radio shows,sometimes it is only highlighting these plights in the media mean anything happens which is so wrong. Please Niamh Kelly try this as an avenue to get this story heard…

  12. Nicola O'Hanlon

    Hi Lisa and Niamh. My name is Nicola O’Hanlon. I’m in the middle of putting a website together to highlight the stories just like yours. I too have struggled with mental health and addiction issues all my life, but I have been in recovery for five years. Nobody is listening or understanding and the stigma attached is still so huge that getting help is sometimes too much for us. Then when we do get courage we find we can’t because of the system in this country. I am in recovery for 5 years now and it’s been a very difficult hard road. I want our stories to be told Lisa, thousands of them all in one place, so we can be heard and have a voice and not be hidden away by a government who doesn’t give a damn about it’s people. I don’t know if I can help, but I’m holding my hand out to you for support. I would love to have you write more. I know for me writing was what really saved me and got me well because it helped me understand myself and what was going on inside me. You CAN get well honey. You CAN beat this with support and love. I am doing this website with zero budget and the kindness of others who have been where we have been. Please contact me if I can be of help to you.

  13. jane

    Our services are disgraceful, my heart goes out to this poor young girl. Could try Pieta House ? maybe ?
    Get help and get well soon

  14. Johann Crawford

    Please ask Lisa to get in touch with Pieta House. They are amazing. That can give her some much needed help in her battle the suicidal thoughts. Good luck Lisa. I hope you get better.

  15. niamh

    Lisa and Niamh
    This is heart breaking. You deserve better than this. I’ve been tweeting like mad about this to papers, news channels and Leo Vradker. Please people I urge you to do the same. This woman is too important to lose!

    X Niamh

  16. Lesley Hewson

    Hi Lisa,
    I am so sorry that you are feeling so bad and that your illness has progressed to such a degree. I have been helping somebody in much the same predicament as yourself for the last two and a half years now, except she does not have health insurance and is dependent on the HSE. In her case we had to get a solicitor to threaten a lawsuit if the HSE would not fund private care as there are still only 3 public beds in St Vincent’s hospital reserved for South Dublin for eating disorders. No other HSE catchment area has beds. I understand that your situation ought to be better since you have private insurance, but all sectors appear to be bursting at the seams at this stage. It might however be worthwhile if you and/or a friend could check out the legal situation given the life and death nature of your illness. Constitutionally you are entitled to you life and from that point of view also the care that will maintain it. For physical illnesses that has generally meant the HSE funding care overseas when it is unavailable in Ireland, why should mental health be any different. I cannot say if this is a definite means of accessing care, or even whether going abroad would be a viable option from your perspective, however it might be worth investigating further if you feel it might be suitable.
    I sincerely wish you the very best and hope you can weather this storm to find the care you
    need. Having seen the huge challenge that fighting an eating disorder is for anybody I can only say that you are a brave young woman to address it with the openness and honesty that you are doing now. Such courage is needed in this world, and I do so hope that you can find the wherewithal to overcome this illness and put it firmly behind you where it belongs.

    With very best wishes

  17. Masha S.

    Lisa, I’ve not seen you since we left school but after reading the article I couldn’t not comment!!! Sadly I don’t know much about the mental health services in Ireland (I live in Edinburgh) but from reading what Niamh and yourself wrote it sounds like an absolute disgrace! my heart goes out to you, I really hope you get the help you need and deserve!
    It’s upsetting to see that this is happening to you, I know we weren’t very close in school but I remember that you were fun and very creative! And can I also add I was always jealous of your hair!!
    I hope you’re reading this and all the other comments and pray you get the support you need.
    Sending lots of positive vibes and very best wishes your way!

  18. Eoghan

    Dear Lisa,

    I read what you wrote and I immediately felt like writing to you. I don’t know or fully understand what you’re going through, and I don’t think that anyone ever could, except for youself. And while that might sound isolating and maybe even hopeless in terms of finding the help that you want, I think that ultimately it means that it is you that has the answers and it will be you who saves yourself in the end. I can see that you are suffering immensely and it pains me to hear that. I wish there was something I could do to help or take your pain away. I really do. But then that’s my own problem. I know that people are not something that can be fixed. People grow and change if they are able, when they are able. Despite knowing this, I can’t seem to let go of my desire to help others. I could do with being as compassionate to myself as I am to other people. Well, I think I’m getting a little better at that. It’s an on going process. I’ll leave my email at the bottom if you feel like contacting me. I’d be more than happy to talk with you.



  19. Lisa

    After all of the messages I received as a result of my email to the Mental Health Commissioner and the Minister for Health, I felt it was only right that I update you (‘you’ being the the emptiness of cyber space, or, it is the you who is reading this).

    I received a ridiculous and presumably standard response from the MHC, stating that my HSE team should simply find me a bed in my local hospital. I say ridiculous because there are no beds in my local hospital, as with every other hospital, the bed shortage is at crisis point. Also, as I have private healthcare, I would not be seen as a priority for a public bed due to the assumed availability of a private one.

    I have heard nothing from the Minister for Health, nor do I expect to. In all honesty, I know there are a multitude of healthcare issues currently being raised; and one look in the newspapers this week tells me his office probably have their hands full.

    My local mental health team have always been aware of my current psychological state, and they tried repeatedly to have me admitted to hospital, and have tried in every way to support me while these attempts failed. Unfortunately the therapies available to me, require input and motivation on my part, and at this point, I have neither. You may think less of me for saying that, but this has been a long war and I have fought and lost too many battles now to want to engage again.

    I have almost reached the date for my assessment with an eating disorder clinic, the assessment which is apparently a necessity before I can be considered for a bed for my depression and suicidal thoughts. I have no desire to attend this assessment, but I have agreed to do so. The reason I don’t want to go is simple, I don’t care if I starve to death, although I am far from that. Or if I have a sudden cardiac arrest as a result of self induced vomiting. My thoughts don’t dwell on numbers and bones, they don’t dwell on much of anything anymore.

    When the fog lifts enough for clear thought, the only thought is one of an end. I feel like Oscar Wilde’s Sir Simon – ‘ To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace’. I have four days to get through before my appointment. I cannot promise you I will try my hardest, because I have no hope that anything will come of it. I can only say that I will try, once more. I suppose, selfishly, I am doing it so that I can say I tried everything and knowing that makes it all easier for me.

    Thank you for all your thoughts and messages, I have read them all and wish they could heal, like a fairy tale spell. I have no more words for you, or for anyone. Do figure my rudeness but I am tired of talking, and exhausted by my own mind. I don’t want to hear myself anymore, so forgive me if I fall into silence now.

    ‘All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence’


  20. Caz

    Hi Lisa! I hope you’re reading these messages. I was in a similar position to you suicidally and coforlt eat due to anxiety. I had 3 serious attempts before Christmas and was lucky enough to be admitted to a Psych ward. Unfortunately the nurses had no idea how to help and as I got closer to being let out, I was facing no real after care and no idea of that could help.
    I did a lot of research and found suicide or survive. They run free 1 day wellness programs and WRAP (wellness recovery action plan)that take place over 3 1/2 days over 4 weeks for 70 euro. I also attended Pieta House and found a mindfulness course. After nearly 20 years of suicidal ideation and intrusive thoughts and approx 30 attempts, I’ve gone months without a suicidal and when I do have them, I can refocus my mind.
    I hope you can find an answer for yourself. I’m thinking of you and if you would like a chat, please contact me Hug!

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