Death sparks more depression therapy

MENTAL health bosses today vowed to step up psychological therapies services in Suffolk in the wake of the death of a woman with depression.The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership is recruiting a specialist and training existing staff to make therapies more widely available.

MENTAL health bosses today vowed to step up psychological therapies services in Suffolk in the wake of the death of a woman with depression.

The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership is recruiting a specialist and training existing staff to make therapies more widely available.

Nicola Duncan, 34, of Lancaster Road, Ipswich, was found dead in a Volkswagen Golf car at the Walberswick nature reserve on May 30.

As Miss Cotton's mother Sonia Duncan paid tribute to her daughter last week, the health trust admitted the demand for certain services outstripped supply. It also promised to review Miss Duncan's case.

Today, chief executive Mark Halladay said he was unable to comment on Miss Duncan's death, but spoke about the availability of psychological therapies

He said: “Our thoughts are with Nicola's family and friends, and I would like to again extend my condolences to them at this sad time.

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“Talking therapies already exist in Suffolk and the trust is planning further development.

“The evidence for the effectiveness of psychological therapies, particularly a type called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is proven. It is recognised as being at least as effective as drugs for some people, and is particularly helpful when combined with other support.

“In order to develop our services, we are recruiting a specialist psychological therapist post to lead on the development of talking therapies. This post will develop training so that more of our existing staff can use these skills, but also look at ways that we can recruit more therapists”.

The trust said it is also working with the Suffolk Primary Care Trust to see if therapies could be made available to a wider range of people.

Mrs Duncan, 66, told the Evening Star she was upset that certain therapies, including CBT, were not accessible to her daughter because money was not available.

Her daughter, who was on anti-depressants and had been treated by the trust, was so desperate for help she resorted to paying for her own therapy sessions.

Miss Duncan's funeral will be held at Ipswich crematorium, North Chapel on Friday at 12.15pm.

Friends are welcome afterwards at the Spinney.

Family flowers only, but donations can be made payable to MIND and can be sent c/o East of England Co-operative Funeral Service, 47 St Helen's Street, Ipswich, IP4 2JL.

Is the trust right to invest in psychological therapies? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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