Family of engineer who died battling depression accuses NHS of not taking the condition seriously

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Family of sex-addicted mining engineer, 35, who jumped off a cliff in Cornwall to his death while battling depression, accuses NHS of not taking his condition as seriously as the US.

  • Father of two Dylan McFarlane ended his life in Cornwall last October
  • The 35-year-old’s ex-wife skipped the treatment he received for sex addiction
  • Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans toll-free on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org

An engineer who took his own life fighting a sex addiction didn’t get the support he needed from the NHS, his family told an inquest today.

The body of father-of-two Dylan McFarlane was found last October on Lushington beach, near St Agnes in Cornwall.

An inquest into his death found that the 35-year-old engineer struggled with his mental health and was depressed, but struggled to get help during the Covid pandemic.

Relatives told the hearing that Mr McFarlane in Cornwall was not receiving proper support and treatment for sex addiction, exacerbating his suicidal thoughts.

They claim he would have had better treatment if he had lived in America, where sex addiction is “ taken more seriously. ”

The 35-year-old engineer struggled with his mental health and battled depression, but struggled to get help during the Covid pandemic

The body of father-of-two Dylan McFarlane was found on Lushington beach, near St Agnes in Cornwall, last Octobe

The body of father-of-two Dylan McFarlane was found on Lushington beach, near St Agnes in Cornwall, last Octobe

The 35-year-old was born in Alaska before studying at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Exeter, where he earned a master’s degree in mining engineering.

Speaking on a US video link, Mr McFarlane’s ex-wife Deborah, a university lecturer, said sex addiction is ‘not a widely recognized’ problem in the UK.

She criticized the concern Mr McFarlane received in Cornwall, adding, ‘I think it’s incredible that someone identified as at high risk of suicide was asked to call back next week.

The first therapist he saw told him during their first meeting that he didn’t want to discuss sex with him and fired him and didn’t give him an alternative.

The second therapist told him there was no such thing. I have no confidence that Relate is a competent place to send people with these issues. ‘

Mr. McFarlane’s sister, Cayanne, who also spoke via video link from Virginia, said there was a ‘different cultural attitude’ to sex addiction in the UK.

“He didn’t feel like he was getting the services he needed,” she said.

He didn’t necessarily take the responsibility and share the full picture, but he did feel like he wasn’t being taken seriously by some medical professionals regarding the things he brought up in terms of sex addiction. He found it very difficult to get help. ‘

The inquest revealed that Mr. McFarlane was prescribed antidepressants and reported having suicidal thoughts in the weeks leading up to his death.

Outlook South West, which provides mental health support in Cornwall, considered him to be at high risk of suicidal intent, so a discussion and management plan was agreed with him.

On October 7, Outlook South West was notified that he had not been to an appointment and received a text message to speak to one of the team members. The next report the service received was that Mr. McFarlane had passed away on October 21.

Dr. Yonette Hassell, chief of clinical services and strategy for Outlook South West, said Covid was “challenging” because it meant that in-person appointments could not take place.

The St Agnes lifeboat was present after Dylan McFarlane's body was found on Lushington beach

The St Agnes lifeboat was present after Dylan McFarlane’s body was found on Lushington beach

Coroner Andrew Cox has written to the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and given 56 days to devise a strategy for treating patients with sex addiction.

The coroner took a conclusion on suicide and said, “ I think there is a gap in the service that should be properly considered with a plan to determine how patients who present themselves in this way will in the future to be. treated.

‘If it continues to be the case that a reference to Relate remains the option, then there must be insight into what Relate is going to offer and whether they are going to offer a service that says’ we’re not going to have sex here’ that is not going to work.

‘There is still some work to be done to arrive at a coherent plan.’ I hope lessons are learned and that the situation for patients improves in the future. ‘

  • Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans toll-free on 116 123 or drop by Samaritans.org

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