Advocate, author and friend of First Step, Mary Pershall provided a witness statement and gave evidence to the Commission. She described her experiences as the mother of a daughter, Anna, who used crisis services frequently before being jailed for killing her housemate.
Mary told the Commission that the mental health system failed to recognise the severity and escalation of Anna’s mental illness and distress because they treated each crisis event in isolation and failed to engage with people who could have told them about Anna’s history.
In her witness statement, Mary asks:
“Why couldn’t the authorities have taken a team approach and consulted people who actually knew this young woman? They could have talked to Dr D who had spent hundreds of hours with Anna. They could have consulted John and Katie and me, who had loved and cared for her for 26 years.”
In a series of short interviews with First Step, Mary shares her reflections on a broken system and provides insight into how a future mental health and wellbeing system can support Anna, once she is released from prison.
Here is the first interview: Episode 1
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