Partner slams mental health services after ‘soul mate’, 57, was found dead

A 57-year-old father’s partner found dead in his flat has accused mental health services of ‘let down’ their loved one. Dr Simon Fearon Park had a history of self-harm and spent a short time at Harplands Hospital, Hartshill.

But Diane Wilkinson told an inquest that her “soul mate” should never have been released. He was found dead in his flat – St Edward Street, Leek – on October 17. He died of drug and alcohol intoxication following an unintentional overdose.

In a statement read at the inquest, Dr Wilkinson said: “We met at university in 1986 and have been together ever since. It was 30 years of a great relationship. The past five years have been difficult due to deteriorating mental health.

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“Simon struggled to cope with the death of a close friend. He became worried and anxious. He had a heart defect from birth. It remained stable for many years.”

The inquest heard that Dr Park had undergone successful surgery to replace a valve in his heart. But his mental health continued to deteriorate.

Dr Wilkinson added: “He felt very deadly and scared. He took antidepressants. The episodes between illnesses got shorter and the depths got deeper. He couldn’t see the good and the love around of him. He preferred to walk in the countryside. I always accompanied him. He lost his mother to cancer and fell deeply into depression. His mental health deteriorated considerably.

Dr Park started drinking heavily and spent two weeks in Harplands Hospital.

Dr Wilkinson added: “He was able to tell people he was fine when he wasn’t. He shouldn’t have been released. We believe he was abandoned by the services of mental health. I lost my soul mate, the love of my life and my father of sons. We feel that we have done everything we could to support Simon.

The alarm was raised when a loved one was unable to reach Dr Park on October 17 last year.

North Staffordshire Deputy Coroner Daniel Howe said: “He had a history of anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation and alcohol abuse. He was known to mental health services. ”

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