Suicide On Hospital Ward

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Hours after being admitted to the psychiatric ward of the San Fernando General Hospital, a 25-year-old man hanged himself using a piece of cloth.

Sheldon Sobers, of Skinner Street, was found dead around 9.30 am at the entrance of a room near the male dormitory of the psychiatric ward. Police said he was admitted on Sunday night after displaying "unpredictable behaviour."

"He was a regular patient of ward 1 and because of his behaviour he could not be immediately assessed," the police said.

After being taken in by ambulance, Sobers was then placed in an isolated room. Around 9.30 am a nurse found Sobers and alerted the police. The body was later removed to the Forensic Science Centre for an autopsy.

When the T&T Guardian visited the community yesterday, Sobers' neighbours described him as mentally unstable.

"Yesterday he came banging on the front gate. He was saying they coming for him. He took off his jersey and threw it in the canal," a neighbour said.

A woman who was identified as Sobers' mother declined comment .

In an interview yesterday, South west Regional Health Authority CEO Gail Miller-Meade said they were now investigating why Sobers was kept in an isolated place when he was displaying signs of depression and mental instability.

In a subsequent statement, the SWRHA said, "In keeping with the SWRHA's Adverse Events Protocols, a team has been established to investigate the circumstances leading to the patient's unfortunate passing. Our preliminary findings suggest that the patient's demise was self-inflicted. Our team at the Psychiatry Department has offered counselling to both family members and staff. The incident has also been reported to the San Fernando police who will conduct an independent investigation."

Extending condolences to the family, the SWRHA said it remains committed to reducing the effects of mental illnesses among the population and implored the public to seek help as early as possible.