LETTER : A community unable to care

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The Independent Online
Sir: The case of Martin Mursell ("Professional failures that led to a family tragedy", 8 March) shows for a lie this government's rhetoric about "care in the community", because the community does not care. This is not because the community is uncaring, but because the Government has stretched the resources of health authorities, social services and housing services to the point where they cannot dedicate sufficient time to each case nor co-ordinate their efforts so as to ensure that no gaps are left through which the least fortunate may fall.

I was in the same psychiatric hospital unit as Martin Mursell, although not at the same time, and upon my release I came to terms with my mental health disability with only the help of loving and supportive friends and the sympathetic reaction of neighbours and employers. These people are representative of the community at large, but the official community services were no help at all, despite the obvious and sincere goodwill of the beleaguered practitioners who struggle to help those in need.

EAMONN O'TIERNEY

London N1

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