The graphic designer hanged herself while being released from a psychiatric ward for one night
A graphic designer hanged herself after being released from a psychiatric ward for a night Her partner, who didn’t want a baby, left her and started a painful custody battle over their dog.
An inquest jury was told that Caroline Forte, 35, of Brighton, hanged herself at her elderly parents’ home on February 20 last year.
She was initially committed to a hospital psychiatric ward under the Mental Health Act, but was allowed to go home for one night against her family’s wishes – a decision that ended in her tragic death that same day.
Caroline, who was privately educated at Brighton Girls School, was “hit hard” when her relationship with partner Barry Wickens collapsed during lockdown in 2020.
The couple had bought and renovated their first home together, but difficulties arose when they disagreed about having a baby.
An inquiring jury was told Caroline Forte, 35, of Brighton, hanged herself at her elderly parents’ home after she was allowed to go home for the night
A five-day inquest into Caroline’s death in Brighton revealed how Caroline struggled with her mental health after the relationship ended, before being admitted to a psychiatric ward at Eastbourne District General Hospital.
Although the family insisted it was “unsafe” for her to come home for the night, the hospital allowed her release and she was found dead shortly thereafter.
Penelope Schofield, acting chief medical examiner for Brighton and Hove, told the inquest jury that “facts needed to be established” surrounding Caroline’s death and that the family had waited over a year for answers.
She said: “The family have indicated they have not received any advice on how best to support Caroline.”
Participating in the research were Caroline’s parents, Gillian and Anthony Forte, her older sisters, Liz and Sandra, and her older brother, Chris.
In her testimony, her sister Liz said: “We have lost a vibrant, bright, kind, loving and much-respected member of our family whose 35 years have certainly not been marred by this relatively brief illness.
“Caro – as we called her – was a happy, fun-loving person, the baby of the family. She was an extremely talented and highly successful graphic designer with an infectious giggle and strong family values.
“She was with her partner Barry for a few years and they bought a house together which they restored. It was a planned family home because Caro was very interested in starting a family. Barry then decided he wasn’t sure about trying to have a baby and so they had couples counseling.
Caroline struggled with her mental health after their relationship ended before being admitted to a psychiatric ward at Eastbourne District General Hospital
“However, the relationship continued to deteriorate and Barry eventually left the company in May 2020.”
The inquest learned how Caroline – the youngest of four children – was “hit hard” by his departure and was very up and down in the months that followed.
Liz remembered her sister showing up at her house one night very upset.
“Barry wanted joint custody of their dog, Doris, and there was aggression and harassment with police involvement,” she told jurors.
“She asked if she could come and stay with me because she ‘didn’t feel right.'”
The coroner heard how Caroline began showing signs of psychosis in November 2021 because she believed her phone had been bugged and she was becoming paranoid about her devices. The family sought medical help and Caroline’s condition stabilized enough for her to take a planned vacation to Costa Rica over the Christmas period.
Her sister Liz described Caroline (pictured) as “a cheerful, fun-loving person”.
However, things took a turn for the worse on her return in January 2022, the jury was told.
The sister’s statement continued: “She wasn’t okay. She kept asking for help changing the passwords for all her accounts and kept talking about being hacked.’
The family agreed that Caroline should stay in Leeds with her other sister, Sandra, who was on maternity leave and would therefore be able to look after her and keep her company.
The coroner heard Caroline twice attempted suicide by overdose in Leeds and once managed to obtain and swallow a large quantity of paracetamol tablets.
She received emergency psychiatric care under the Leeds and Yorkshire NHS Partnership Trust and was then transferred back to Sussex where she was admitted to the Psychiatric Ward at Eastbourne District General Hospital under the Mental Health Act. Less than a month later, she hanged herself.
The inquest found her family believed both the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust and the Leeds and Yorkshire NHS Partnership Trust made serious mistakes that led to Caroline’s death.
Liz said: “They didn’t take care of her. They released her when she was unsafe and in a psychiatric ward and they took her to my parents’ house who are in their 70’s. It’s absolutely shocking,” she claimed.
The investigation, which will be completed next week, continues.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/covid-19/graphic-designer-hanged-herself-when-she-was-let-out-for-one-night-from-psychiatric-unit/ The graphic designer hanged herself while being released from a psychiatric ward for one night