Hanging victim's family hits out at health services

Dorset Echo: Donna Michelle Canavan-McClung, Donna Michelle Canavan-McClung,

THE FAMILY of a woman who took her own life in a Weymouth cemetery has hit out at the care she received from mental health professionals.

Fitness trainer Donna Michelle Canavan-McClung, 32, was found hanged from a tree in the cemetery in Quibo Lane on the evening of October 9 after her family had contacted police to raise concerns from her welfare.

The inquest at County Hall in Dorchester was told that Miss Canavan-McClung had been engaging with the Weymouth community mental health team and had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder but it had taken seven months for her to be assigned a care co-ordinator.

Dr Anna Cosslett said that this was due to staff shortages and that additional staff were now in place to ensure that was not repeated.

Miss Canavan-McClung was one of the first people in Dorset to get married in a same-sex wedding in 2006.

The inquest was told she had had divorced in February 2012 and was in a volatile relationship with another woman prior to her death while she also had concerns over employment and accommodation.

She had taken several overdoses previously and her mother Beth Roles said on one occasion in July she had asked for her daughter to be committed to hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Dr Cosslett said that at that time two doctors and an approved mental health practitioner had assessed Miss Canavan-McClung and concluded that, as she posed no immediate risk to herself at that moment in time and had agreed to engaged in treatment, it would not be appropriate.

Mrs Roles said: “I don't understand why, when they know of her problems and her previous attempts, they didn't listen.”

She added: “I feel strongly that they have let her down.”

Mrs Roles also asked why it had taken so long for her to be assigned a care co-ordinator.

Dr Cosslett said: “We had significant staffing difficulties within the team.

“Due to the various difficulties it was impossible to recruit in the time frame.”

She added that six new members of staff had meant there was no longer a waiting list for people in need of a care co-ordinator.

For a period the mental health team also engaged with Miss Canavan-McClung through weekly phone calls but Dr Cosslett admitted this practice was not deemed a safe way to proceed and people would be seen in person where possible.

Mrs Roles said the changes Dr Cosslett said had been introduce since her daughter's death provided little comfort for the family.

She said: “It's too late for us, you have let my daughter down.

“She phone you on several occasions crying, longing for help.”

PANEL 1 DORSET Coroner Sheriff Payne said that even if Miss Canavan-McClung's family's concern around the mental health care she received had been addressed, there was no guarantee the outcome would have been different.

He said: “Certainly admissions have been made by Dr Cosslett that she did not receive the best possible attention and there were considerable delays in getting a care co-ordinator.

“Whether that would have made a difference in the overall picture I think is impossible for anyone to say.”

The inquest was told Miss Canavan-McClung was seen on CCTV going into Asda in Newstead Road and buying a clothes line shortly before she was discovered.

She had also texted members of her family on several occasions that day expressing that she was going to end her life.

Mr Payne said: “I am sure that she knew what she was doing and that she knew this would end her life.

“She therefore has taken her own life and, she has committed suicide.”

PANEL 2 Deborah Howard, associate director for community mental health services at Dorset HealthCare, said: “We were saddened to hear of the death of Ms Canavan-McClung and would like to offer our sincere condolences to her family.

“Learning from this tragic event is important so that we can provide the best possible patient care.”

Comments (18)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:35pm Fri 20 Dec 13

bargain price says...

Such a shame, the trouble is the mental health services in Dorset is not very good, as I know myself
Such a shame, the trouble is the mental health services in Dorset is not very good, as I know myself bargain price

10:17pm Fri 20 Dec 13

LynM says...

That is so sad. She was a lovely person and was my training advisor when I used to go to the gym at the Swimming Pool.
That is so sad. She was a lovely person and was my training advisor when I used to go to the gym at the Swimming Pool. LynM

5:08pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Caring Person says...

I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna
I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna Caring Person

5:39pm Sat 21 Dec 13

David_divenghy2 says...

While I have every sympathy for this woman and her family, given many more men have gone the same way as this poor woman, forgotten and ignored by the system for mental health and outrageously with over 80% homeless men and over 60% of those in prison being men with mental illness and suicides being over 80% men also.......it never gets so much as a page 5.

Is that why your chief editor still shirks from the offer put to him recently by political party J4MB ?
While I have every sympathy for this woman and her family, given many more men have gone the same way as this poor woman, forgotten and ignored by the system for mental health and outrageously with over 80% homeless men and over 60% of those in prison being men with mental illness and suicides being over 80% men also.......it never gets so much as a page 5. Is that why your chief editor still shirks from the offer put to him recently by political party J4MB ? David_divenghy2

5:44pm Sat 21 Dec 13

monkeydog says...

Caring Person wrote:
I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna
This comment refers to a comment which is no longer listed. It's contents were quite unsuitable for this board, especially considering the tragedy involved.
[quote][p][bold]Caring Person[/bold] wrote: I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna[/p][/quote]This comment refers to a comment which is no longer listed. It's contents were quite unsuitable for this board, especially considering the tragedy involved. monkeydog

6:07pm Sat 21 Dec 13

LynM says...

Caring Person wrote:
I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna
I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Caring Person[/bold] wrote: I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna[/p][/quote]I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!! LynM

7:07pm Sat 21 Dec 13

intherain says...

My support and sympathy is with Donna's family at this time. I too have serious concerns about the shortfallings of the CMHT in this area, as my own son has been let by down by them in the past.

I am lucky, I still have my son. But I know this is more as a result of my ability to argue the apathy and arrogance of those who think they know my child better than I do.

Lets hope the CMHT will learn from this as they say they will..............on
ly time will tell.
My support and sympathy is with Donna's family at this time. I too have serious concerns about the shortfallings of the CMHT in this area, as my own son has been let by down by them in the past. I am lucky, I still have my son. But I know this is more as a result of my ability to argue the apathy and arrogance of those who think they know my child better than I do. Lets hope the CMHT will learn from this as they say they will..............on ly time will tell. intherain

11:25pm Sat 21 Dec 13

monkeydog says...

LynM wrote:
Caring Person wrote:
I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna
I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!!
Please see my post above. Caring Person was referring to a particularly unpleasant comment which has been removed. Why people have voted down my comment when I was trying to make things clear I cannot understand.
[quote][p][bold]LynM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Caring Person[/bold] wrote: I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna[/p][/quote]I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!![/p][/quote]Please see my post above. Caring Person was referring to a particularly unpleasant comment which has been removed. Why people have voted down my comment when I was trying to make things clear I cannot understand. monkeydog

1:52am Sun 22 Dec 13

Caring Person says...

Thakyou monkeydog, yes the very unpleasant post has been rightfully deleted x
Thakyou monkeydog, yes the very unpleasant post has been rightfully deleted x Caring Person

6:16am Sun 22 Dec 13

southwellman says...

monkeydog wrote:
LynM wrote:
Caring Person wrote:
I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna
I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!!
Please see my post above. Caring Person was referring to a particularly unpleasant comment which has been removed. Why people have voted down my comment when I was trying to make things clear I cannot understand.
I did not see the comment as it has been removed, It might have been a net troll! however people have opinions and whether or not they are agreed with by all they should stay, Just because some people might think they are wrong does not make them wrong
[quote][p][bold]monkeydog[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LynM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Caring Person[/bold] wrote: I think the last comment was very harsh, nobody should have to die that way and maybe some of the feelings you have towards her were due to her illness and she couldnt help some of the things she did. I didnt personally know her but what you have said is very cruel and hurtfull to her family friends and people who loved her, RIP Donna[/p][/quote]I assume you are not referring to my post which is the last comment shown on here as it is NO WAY harsh but very sympathetic!!!!!![/p][/quote]Please see my post above. Caring Person was referring to a particularly unpleasant comment which has been removed. Why people have voted down my comment when I was trying to make things clear I cannot understand.[/p][/quote]I did not see the comment as it has been removed, It might have been a net troll! however people have opinions and whether or not they are agreed with by all they should stay, Just because some people might think they are wrong does not make them wrong southwellman

9:55am Sun 22 Dec 13

123@123.com says...

News should be about Truth, Fact & Opinion, You normally find that statements closer to the mark are deleted. And the softer comments are left meaningless, for all to read. No post should ever be deleted who possibly has the right to silence anyone.
News should be about Truth, Fact & Opinion, You normally find that statements closer to the mark are deleted. And the softer comments are left meaningless, for all to read. No post should ever be deleted who possibly has the right to silence anyone. 123@123.com

10:00am Sun 22 Dec 13

annotater says...

Truth fact an Opinion don't sell newspapers.
Truth fact an Opinion don't sell newspapers. annotater

10:22am Sun 22 Dec 13

Bert Fry says...

When the only purpose of the post is to be gratuitously offensive, I think posts should be removed, especially when referring to stories of this nature. We already see posts that are offensive through the type of language used, removed or amended.
Alternatively, you could just amend the forum rules so that real names must be used; it may make people think before they post as the comments invariably say more about those commenting than those being commented on.
When the only purpose of the post is to be gratuitously offensive, I think posts should be removed, especially when referring to stories of this nature. We already see posts that are offensive through the type of language used, removed or amended. Alternatively, you could just amend the forum rules so that real names must be used; it may make people think before they post as the comments invariably say more about those commenting than those being commented on. Bert Fry

10:50am Sun 22 Dec 13

crusel says...

I share your concerns over the mental health care but not only for adults but for children as well. Some serious overhauling needs to take place by someone who has gumption to make some harsh decisions. Our son has issues and has been receiving some help for 10 years but the people come and go and the next person comes along and the process begins again.
I share your concerns over the mental health care but not only for adults but for children as well. Some serious overhauling needs to take place by someone who has gumption to make some harsh decisions. Our son has issues and has been receiving some help for 10 years but the people come and go and the next person comes along and the process begins again. crusel

10:56pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Hippyhooker says...

Bert Fry wrote:
When the only purpose of the post is to be gratuitously offensive, I think posts should be removed, especially when referring to stories of this nature. We already see posts that are offensive through the type of language used, removed or amended.
Alternatively, you could just amend the forum rules so that real names must be used; it may make people think before they post as the comments invariably say more about those commenting than those being commented on.
You haven't got the hang of this interweb lark have you? My real names David Marsden (it isn't really just proving a point)
[quote][p][bold]Bert Fry[/bold] wrote: When the only purpose of the post is to be gratuitously offensive, I think posts should be removed, especially when referring to stories of this nature. We already see posts that are offensive through the type of language used, removed or amended. Alternatively, you could just amend the forum rules so that real names must be used; it may make people think before they post as the comments invariably say more about those commenting than those being commented on.[/p][/quote]You haven't got the hang of this interweb lark have you? My real names David Marsden (it isn't really just proving a point) Hippyhooker

11:14pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Bert Fry says...

I assume you wrote the post that was deleted (I didn't see it). My point still stands.
I assume you wrote the post that was deleted (I didn't see it). My point still stands. Bert Fry

6:59am Tue 24 Dec 13

ducatiwidow says...

as someone who knew Donna through most of her teenage and adult years, I was saddened to hear that her demons had finally claimed her. My own son has also spent years battling with CMHT and I live in dread that one day that awful phone call will come. I can only pray that the senior managers actually learn from Donna's death ....but I won't hold my breath. My deepest sympathies go to Beth and Donna's sisters for their loss
as someone who knew Donna through most of her teenage and adult years, I was saddened to hear that her demons had finally claimed her. My own son has also spent years battling with CMHT and I live in dread that one day that awful phone call will come. I can only pray that the senior managers actually learn from Donna's death ....but I won't hold my breath. My deepest sympathies go to Beth and Donna's sisters for their loss ducatiwidow

6:18pm Sat 28 Dec 13

David_divenghy2 says...

ducatiwidow wrote:
as someone who knew Donna through most of her teenage and adult years, I was saddened to hear that her demons had finally claimed her. My own son has also spent years battling with CMHT and I live in dread that one day that awful phone call will come. I can only pray that the senior managers actually learn from Donna's death ....but I won't hold my breath. My deepest sympathies go to Beth and Donna's sisters for their loss
As you speak of your Son I do wonder if you realise that in our society women with mental illness are always seen as "victims", they are pardoned even when they kill children, whereas males with mental illness are treated as problems to society and criminals.

Why the very headline on this article calls her a "victim" but of what exactly? It does not make this specification because this paper wishes to continue the "victim" approach to mental illness for women while demonising men.

Now find me an article that talks of a male "victim" who killed himself?
[quote][p][bold]ducatiwidow[/bold] wrote: as someone who knew Donna through most of her teenage and adult years, I was saddened to hear that her demons had finally claimed her. My own son has also spent years battling with CMHT and I live in dread that one day that awful phone call will come. I can only pray that the senior managers actually learn from Donna's death ....but I won't hold my breath. My deepest sympathies go to Beth and Donna's sisters for their loss[/p][/quote]As you speak of your Son I do wonder if you realise that in our society women with mental illness are always seen as "victims", they are pardoned even when they kill children, whereas males with mental illness are treated as problems to society and criminals. Why the very headline on this article calls her a "victim" but of what exactly? It does not make this specification because this paper wishes to continue the "victim" approach to mental illness for women while demonising men. Now find me an article that talks of a male "victim" who killed himself? David_divenghy2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree