Ours is a quiet street; very little happens. So it was unusual the day before yesterday to find a distressed young man sitting on the steps that lead up to our house; right beside the sign that boldly says 'Private'.
Lady Magnon was the first to find him. She asked if he was OK, and received very little response. Some while later we noticed that he was still there, looking very confused.
That's him in the middle of the photo being 'helped' by Lady M and our neighbour Max (and watched by 'Pigeon' the cat). They couldn't get anything out of him; he seemed to be in a Zombie state, and didn't reply to questions. He looked 'normal' enough, but something was definitely wrong. I imagine he has 'Mental Problems'.
We really didn't know what to do. It wasn't a 999 case, and we didn't wish to make too big an issue of it. He wasn't violent or noisy; just mentally and physically 'lost'. Quite possibly as a result of something he'd 'taken'.
Eventually I phoned a police 'non urgent' number, and spoke to a nice lady who was sympathetic but not too helpful. She suggested I phone the Ambulance service if he looked in need of medical help. I followed her advice, but was told that if it wasn't an emergency, they could do nothing. It seemed as if cases such as his are low priority, and of no concern to any of the main services.
As night fell (along with the temperature) Lady M took him a mug of Tea and a Bacon sandwich; he seemed grateful. I believe others from the street have also spoken to him without response; although someone did discover that he's called Nick. Another resident loaned him a blanket and scarf. Our street's WhatsApp group soon rallied round.
This is not your regular 'rough sleeper' with a dog on a string. He is well dressed, clean, coiffed, etc; he just seemed totally lost and sad. I hope he feels that at least someone cared enough about him to help a bit. It's such a shame there there are no agencies who are willing to help someone like him.
P.S. He was still there the following morning (above), wrapped in the blanket that some kind person had loaned him. I spoke to him and asked if there was anyone I could contact on his behalf, or if there might be someone who's worried about him. He replied 'no' to both questions. The poor man looked frozen.
Not knowing what more we could do, I phoned the local 'Homelessness' people, and left the matter in their hands. A very sad state of affairs. At 9am an Ambulance came and took him away.
Someone in Government once had the bright idea that all 'Mental Homes' should be closed, and that 'Care in the Community' would replace them. This is the result.
I just hope he's now getting the help that he so obviously needs.
That is very sad. I hope that he can find some kind of support for whatever it is that is troubling him.ReplyDelete
I'm sure he has by now.Delete
Mental homes were closed here too and now many are homeless living on the streets. I'm glad your street took care of this one and hope he is now getting some help.ReplyDelete
'Care in the Community' sounds all well and good, but in practice it often doesn't work.Delete
This is indeed a sad and strange story.ReplyDelete
Yes, and quite rare for here. Of course there are 'rough sleepers' around, but they're a very different type.Delete
It is so good that people helped the lad who genuinely had problems. AS River mentions, the same happened here and it certainly makes people uncomfortable and fearful when they 'go off' in public, but usually in a harmless manner.ReplyDelete
Yes, people certainly rallied round, and made him as comfortable as we could. Such people can often be unpredictable, but this one was fine.Delete
And I suppose you would have taken him into your home hey?
Don't be so stupid, it would not have been wise for anyone to admit this person to their home.
His case was reported to the Police and the Ambulance service, the two agencies who could and should have dealt with him. Why do you expect members of the general public to put themselves at possible risk when the official services washed their hands of him?
As the charming Adrian's comment has been removed, could you please remove mine too, it makes no sense without his comment to reference. Ta muchly!
I'll leave yours because it does make sense without Adrian's. I took his down because it was too silly.Delete
I am of the view that you take down all or nothing in blogging. One sided deletions are unfair. Col, you could always delete it yourself.Delete
One can only surmise that he has had a mental breakdown. Kudos to you, Lady M and the neighbours for doing what you could before help arrived in the morning.ReplyDelete
He was in distress; it's the least we could have done.Delete
Shame on the police for not attending when you called. Too much paperwork?ReplyDelete
Too busy catching speeding motorists I expect.Delete
My son in law is a police officer in a large city in the NW of England, and often spends several hours per shift in A&E with people who are obviously mentally unwell, though usually violent and abusive, hence him having to stay there. The last speeding motorist he dealt with caused a multi vehicle accident, tried to flee the scene and was found to be very drunk. I couldn't do his job for 10 times his £27,030 gross salary.Delete
Phoning a homelessness charity, which will be used to dealing with situations like this, sounds the right thing to have done. A good tip for us all should we come across a similar situation.ReplyDelete
I probably should have phoned them to start with, but we didn't really know what his problem was. He didn't look 'homeless'.Delete
Rather than leave him out in the cold all night I would have put him in the car, or paid for a taxi to take him to a night shelter for the homeless which I am sure Brighton must have. Norwich has at least three.ReplyDelete
We didn't really know whether or not he would stay there. It wasn't a clear-cut situation.Delete
Would your action taken have been different if it had been raining or snowing?Delete
Maybe he had taken spice?ReplyDelete
He certainly had that Zombie look about him.Delete
Well done for the community, gently rallying round.ReplyDelete
Glad someone could get things moving in the end.
Hope he will be ok
I'm sure he's now being looked after well.Delete
Helping people with mental health issues is very low down the list in the NHS…… which is a very sorry state of affairs. I can say with pretty much 99% accuracy that it took over 24 hours to sort something out for him. It really does need sorting out. I hope they found somewhere for him to go and be looked after and treated. XXXXReplyDelete
I had hoped that we would hear what happened to him, but somehow I doubt it.Delete
He may have "mental" problems of long standing or, as YP suggests, he may have had a (temporary) breakdown. I believe the latter is classified as a "psychotic episode" which, take note, can happen to all of us at any time. The strangest (and most frightening) I witnessed among a group of friends when one of them went catatonic. Rigid. A sort of amnesia. At first we thought he was taking the piss. Luckily one of us had presence of mind to phone his father, a psychiatrist, for help and so the situation was quickly taken care of professionally. It was, literally, like a malfunction of the brain, a fuse blown. And no, no drugs involved. And, yes, said friend is fully compos mentis and has no recollection of what happened.ReplyDelete
PS Good job your visitor didn't wander off in the middle of the night. Anything could have happened to him. People do end up in ditches. Hair raising. Now I've frightened myself.
And you never know, Cro, one of these days there may be a knock at the door, a young man brandishing a bouquet of flowers to thank Lady M for the sympathy, the tea and the bacon sandwich.
A 'psychotic episode' sounds about right. He wouldn't speak, yet looked quite normal. It was as if some wires in his head had broken.Delete
Bravo for helping as much as you could.ReplyDelete
We only did a bit, but every little bit helped; I hope.Delete
I like the community concern. Between you, he was fed. He was given a blanket. He had people looking out after him as best they could, given the circumstances. And no. You cannot bring a someone with the possibility of drugs or a psychotic breakdown into your home. That is simply dangerous.ReplyDelete
What I do take note of is that your community law enforcement does not have a coordinated response to these situations. They should have a flow chart to discern whether law enforcement is needed? If not, an ambulance? If not, contact the homeless group who will know how to help him. An agency, and a number to reach them would have been helpful to your little group.
It did seem hopelessly uncoordinated, but I suppose he didn't meet their criteria. At least the homeless people rose to the challenge, but whether he was homeless or not; we don't know.Delete
He was definitely homeless for that night at least. I really do love the kindness displayed in this sad story.Delete
This is so sad. He could be anyone's son. I'm sure there is a mother out there who would be overwhelmed with gratitude, (if she learned), about what you did for her son. I hope he's back home and safe.ReplyDelete
I did ask him if there was someone who'd be missing him; he just said 'no', but of course that meant nothing. I'm of an age where he could easily have been my own son, so I did feel for his family.Delete
Well dressed and groomed makes this incident sounds like a psychotic episode. You and your neighbors did what you could to help. Hopefully his family has been contacted and he's getting some care.ReplyDelete
The 'traffic' on our street WhatsApp site was quite amazing. Everyone was concerned.Delete
Certainly sounds like spice to me. I worked at a hostel for 7 years and these incidents are not as rare as you think. As much as you want to help , you should always put your own safety first.People in this state of mind can turn very quickly.Don't expect thanks...the guy won't even remember.ReplyDelete
We did wonder! We certainly wouldn't expect any thanks, all we did was what anyone would do for a fellow man in need.Delete
Caz I also thought of spice. it is a very dangerous drug. it seems to be rife in coastal areas.Delete
My uncle was mentally unwell and was sectioned twice. He was not treated with care or kindness by anyone involved at the time, so it's heartening to read that there are still people who will try to help.ReplyDelete
That sounds awful. I do know that some of the old 'mental homes' were very cruel to the patients, and it was probably a good thing that those were closed.Delete
So distressing - surely someone could have come at nightfall and taken him somewhere warm.ReplyDelete
We were hoping that after all our phone calls that one of the agencies would have come, but I suppose they have 'working hours' like most others.Delete
There was a time when, living in a small Island community no one would have gone unknown in such circumstances and would have 'belonged' to a family or community. Recently, however, a homeless beggar (for that's what he was doing sitting on the pavement) suddenly appeared from the Mainland. However, he appears to have gone as quickly as he appeared.ReplyDelete
I'm sure this young man had a family somewhere, but he couldn't even tell us where he came from. I did also look through the local missing persons file, to no avail.Delete
https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/MHRRS I just did a quick Google and this is a mental health crisis service in your area. Thank goodness this young man found empathy, it could have been very different.ReplyDelete
He probably did well to settle in a residential street rather than where all the rough-sleepers gather. As you say, things could have been very different.Delete
As you know I was a psychiatric nurseReplyDelete
There are no quick solutions
No easy fixes here
An unusual situation for us here, but I'm sure he got the help he needed in the end.Delete
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