A 20-year-old man who survived life-threatening injuries after attempting suicide by jumping off a Chesterfield bridge says more must be done to support those suffering with depression.
Brad Daniel Baxter jumped from a bridge spanning the A61 bypass on November 16 last year.
The Brimington man, who is currently unemployed, was rushed to hospital and then spent four weeks recovering from terrible injuries, including facial fractures, a broken elbow, shattered kneecap and a brain-bleed.
Brad still suffers with memory loss and debilitating depression seven months on and says he has only just met with a psychologist, despite continuing to have suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.
He said: “There just is not enough help for people with mental health issues and not enough doctors, which means people have to wait a long time for mental health appointments.
“Depression and suicide are problems that people just don’t talk about and don’t get enough attention in the press.
“I think there is a lack of awareness about how serious an illness depression is and that’s why it doesn’t get the funding it needs.”
Brad said he had never suffered from depression until the break-up of a relationship with his girlfriend last year - when his feelings of heartbreak and poor self-esteem spiralled out of control.
The former security guard began self-harming as a way of coping with the pain until he got to the point where he actually wanted to end his own life.
Brad now lives with his parents and is closely monitored by them at all times for his own safety.
He added: “I was at Hartington (acute mental health) Unit for 36 hours after I was released from hospital but I found that quite traumatic.
“I didn’t feel it was the best place for me. I prefer being at home with my family and using the outpatient service.
“What I really needed was a psychologist but that has taken seven months and now I have to wait another three for my next appointment.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Preventing suicide, and supporting people who experience suicidal thoughts, is one of the most important aspects of our work. As a result, we have made suicide prevention one of our formal clinical priorities for 2016/17 and developed a new suicide prevention strategy, in partnership with people who use our services.
“The reasons that people have suicidal thoughts or try to take their own life are complex and wide-ranging. Derbyshire Healthcare provides a range of support, including acute inpatient care, psychological services, and neighbourhood and community mental health services which, along with occupational therapy services, help people to re-build strong, meaningful lives.
“There is growing demand for our services, which means that there can sometimes be longer waiting times than we would like. Because of the increase in demand, it is very important that people make every effort to attend appointments and respond to our correspondence. Our Trust is trying to proactively engage with individuals and move from a ‘did not attend’ policy towards an active engagement policy. We will continue to listen to all voices on how we achieve this aim.
“While we cannot comment on individual cases, we would urge anyone who is unhappy with our services to contact our patient experience team on 01332 623751 or 0800 027 2128.”