A woman who battled mental health issues was tragically found dead in her home hours after seeking help, her grieving sister has said. 51-year-old Samantha Metcalfe, known as Sam, had reached out to the crisis line twice before her untimely death in September 2022.
She was under the supervision of Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust due to her borderline personality disorder. Her devastated sister, Christine, stated that despite Sam’s urgent calls to the crisis line, her body remained undiscovered for an additional 15 hours.
Christine described Sam as a generous soul, always willing to help others despite her own internal struggles. She expressed frustration at what she perceived as oversights by the trust in recognizing the severity of Sam’s situation.
While the trust, based in Middlesbrough, emphasized its commitment to thorough reviews of such tragic incidents, discrepancies have arisen. Christine mentioned that Sam had called the crisis line on September 25, but the trust has no record of the call. The following day, Sam spoke to the crisis line for nearly 30 minutes, yet the call log was surprisingly brief, Teesside Live reports.
Despite a support worker’s unsuccessful attempt to reach Sam at her residence, it was hours before a welfare request was made to Cleveland Police. Tragically, by the time officers reached her home, Sam was deceased.
Christine’s anguish deepened as she discovered her sister’s fate not from the trust but from the police. Reflecting on the tragic event, Christine emphasized her sister’s loyalty to the trust and expressed her disbelief over the seeming lack of reciprocity.
Sam’s deteriorating mental state, as revealed by her psychotherapist, underscores Christine’s assertion that multiple warning signs were overlooked.
Although an inquest into Sam’s death remains pending, Christine suspects her sister died of an overdose. One year after the incident, the trust sent Christine a report outlining their findings and the lessons drawn from it. However, Christine remains skeptical, lamenting the systemic failures that she believes contributed to her sister’s death.
While Cleveland Police refrained from commenting due to the pending inquest, the trust’s spokesperson expressed deep sympathy for the grieving families, reiterating their dedication to thoroughly reviewing such cases and valuing the input of families during the process.