Statement on the tragic death of Laura Winham

27 January 2023

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“The tragic and appalling case of Laura Winham provides yet more disgraceful evidence of how vulnerable people are falling through the cracks, failed and forgotten by the very agencies set up to protect them. We need a health, care and welfare system that work together to identify and act upon red flags rather than penalising people and cutting them off from support. There is simply no excuse for this level of neglect, but overwhelmed and underfunded services are incapable of learning from mistakes as they are constantly firefighting. Learning about the tragic circumstances Laura lived in during the final years of her life, it is agonising to consider the probability that more people severely affected by mental illness will find their calls for help ignored.

“One of the most frustrating and heart-wrenching elements of this case is that it was preventable. Laura’s death should be a final siren to the government that change is needed. The government must urgently provide more detail about how departments will work together to ensure people are better supported in all areas of their life, including their physical health, housing and finances, to ensure people are not only protected, but that they are fully supported and connected to their communities and able to have a decent chance at a full life. Laura deserved so much better, and our thoughts today are with everyone affected by this tragic case.”

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