Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#Leveson #pressreform: C4 Editor Sarah Mulvey Overdose - related to the 'extreme pressures' of her job and a grievance procedure at work.

A high-flying Channel 4 executive who was found dead at her home could have been saved by a mental health centre she visited, her father claimed today.
Sarah Mulvey overdosed in her north London flat after being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder related to the 'extreme pressures' of her job and a grievance procedure at work.
Her father attacked the two centres that tried to help the 35-year-old commissioning editor, who died a day after visiting the Drayton Park crisis centre in Camden.
Dr Mulvey
Sarah Mulvey
Critical: Dr Christopher Mulvey attacked the mental health centre his daughter Sarah visited the day before her death for missing opportunities to save her
Her father, Dr Christopher Mulvey, told the court that staff at the crisis centre should have made more effort to contact her doctors after she left, adding: 'There were so many opportunities to help her at this point and they were not taken.'
Her body was discovered by her partner Mr Gillett at her £350,000 two-bedroom rented flat in Hampstead, north London.


Miss Mulvey had stayed at Causeway Retreat, a rehabilitation centre on Osea Island in Essex, in May 2009, after being signed off from work with stress in May 2009.
The £10,000-a-week Causeway, whose former patients also include singer Amy Winehouse, has since been shut down after it was discovered to be operating as an unlicensed hospital.
But she left the following September because she struggled to cope with the methods being used to treat her.
While there she argued with staff about her care and harmed herself, and the day before she left she made an apparent suicide attempt.
Dr Mulvey said: 'She was rejected, in my view, by the Causeway Retreat and the manager, a hotelier by trade, who said she had to leave in 20 minutes.
Happier times: Sarah Mulvey, centre, aged 16 with her parents Christopher and Jean Mulvey
Happier times: Sarah Mulvey, centre, aged 16 with her parents Christopher and Jean Mulvey
‘I am not quite sure of the clinical basis of that decision, but this preceded the crisis.’
Miss Mulvey found the therapy at Causeway was largely focused on addictive patients, and struggled to get the treatment she wanted, the court heard.
She was given a combination of drugs, including anti-depressants, and underwent EMDR, a form of psychotherapy used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
After the treatment started, Miss Mulvey's family said she contacted them less frequently.
Her mother, Jean Mulvey, discovered when she later visited that her daughter had been self-harming, and was burning her arms with cigarettes.
Dr Mulvey said his wife had been 'aghast' when she saw her daughter, describing her as 'extremely thin, lifeless and medicated at that point in time'.
Miss Mulvey also told her mother she had become extremely distressed following the EMDR sessions, and was left in a 'dissociative state'.
A friend who visited complained about the medication she was given, as did Miss Mulvey, and in September 2009 she was told to leave the centre.
Mr Gillett
Sarah Mulvey
Mr Gillett, left, found Miss Mulvey's body after she overdosed at her £350,000 rented flat in Hampstead
But one of her psychiatrists called her a 'narcissist' who thought she was a 'superior human being,' the inquest heard.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mike McPhillips, who treated Miss Mulvey during her stay at Causeway, said she took an instant dislike to him and was difficult to help.
He told the court: 'She told me she was wary of doctors. I don't think she had a very high opinion of the abilities of the doctors treating her.
'She was polite but frosty and had a veiled aggression towards me. She could be curt, dismissive.
'She wouldn't discuss her suicidal thoughts with me as she was frightened if she did she would be sectioned.'
He added: 'She was narcissistic. She had a high opinion of herself and her own intelligence and ability to control her mental state.
'She considered herself a superior human being, and I don't deny that she was, but her sense of self importance went beyond ordinary sense of pride.'
High-flying TV talent: Sarah Mulvey at a documentary festival in Sheffield
High-flying TV talent: Sarah Mulvey at a documentary festival in Sheffield
The following January, she visited Drayton Park, but overdosed at her home after storming out when staff tried to encourage her to take her medication, the inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard.
Dr Mulvey said: 'We find it absolutely incredible that no one - after Sarah had stormed out in an obviously deeply distressed state - no one at the crisis centre had impressed on the GP centre the importance of the situation.
'She was known to be suicidal, and she had said at Causeway Retreat she would not commit suicide on the premises. The importance of that to me is quite clear.
‘Her doctor said if someone had contacted him, he would have been in touch with Sarah straight away.’
The court heard Miss Mulvey, who was born in Brighton, had been 'delightful, intelligent and articulate', studying at Oxford before gaining a Master's degree at Cambridge University.
She was a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, in charge of making top programmes like Ten Years Younger, Brat Camp and How To Look Good Naked.
She became embroiled in a grievance procedure, however, and a subsequent appeal.
Her father said: 'She became at first extremely stressed and then psychologically unwell.
'She had been to GPs on previous occasions saying that she was terribly stressed out or couldn't cope, but there was a very, very heavy work schedule with her job.'
The inquest, which is expected to end tomorrow, continues.