Grieving friends of heartbroken father Alan Wise, whose daughter fell to her death following an 18-month battle get help counselling for depression, have joined with mental health campaigners to ask: “How many more?”
The Manchester music mogul passed away in his sleep on Wednesday night less than three months after daughter Natasha plunged from a bridge near their home in Whalley Range.
The 22-year-old jumped following a long battle with depression and drug abuse, despite pleading with medics for help.
The news of Alan’s death came just hours before the inquest of Craig Creedon , who jumped in front of a train last December – an hour after being discharged from Meadowbrook Mental Health Unit at Salford Royal Hospital .
The 31-year-old, who lived with depression for more than a decade, was pulled from the edge of a block of flats by police earlier the same day before being detained under the Mental Health Act.
Craig Creedon with partner Katie Burke
Craig’s family blasted mental health chiefs for releasing him, claiming he was ‘failed by the system’ after being deemed ‘low risk’.
The latest tragic deaths have led to renewed calls for an urgent shake-up of mental health services – and an end to cuts.
Grave concerns were raised by politicians and mental health campaigners following Natasha’s death.
Those close to Alan, 63, said he ‘never recovered’ from his daughter’s death and ‘died of a broken heart’.
Natasha was found dead in March just hours after she had celebrated her birthday.
Alan, former partners with Haçienda and Factory Records icon Tony Wilson, had told the MEN his daughter was ‘messed around’ for months by medics.
Natasha Wise, 22, was found dead having jumped from a bridge in Whalley Range just hours after posting hate birthdays and nvm [never mind] its time on Facebook.
He said she was ‘desperate’ for treatment, but died after depression and drug abuse ‘got the better of her’.
Influential figures from Manchester’s music scene paid tribute to Alan, including Joy Division and New Order bassist, Peter Hook.
Musician and journalist John Robb described the respected promoter and manager as one of the ‘key architects of the Manchester scene’.
Alan’s close friend, DJ and author Dave Haslam, called for an end to mental health cuts, claiming services were ‘worse than second-class’.
He said: “Charities, including Manchester Mind, are doing their best to pick up the pieces, but the cuts have to stop and the chaos in the NHS has to improve.
“Tony Wilson was instrumental in the launch of the Campaign Against Living Miserably in Manchester in 1997.
“He knew how precarious mental health can be. What his friend Alan went through with Natasha was truly tragic. Alan died broken-hearted.
“These deaths are preventable. Services have to be provided. When people reach out for help, help has to be given – or more families will be left grieving.
“How many more people will slip through the net because of our decimated mental health services?”
Natasha Wise’s funeral at Southern Cemetery, Chorlton
“People in desperate need are being left without any support. These cases show the state of mental health services – and things will only get worse.”
Paul Reed, chair of the Manchester Users Network, said the two cases were ‘classic examples’ of the knock-on effect of mental health cuts.
He said: “Cuts and service closures are decimating people’s lives. There needs to be a real debate about mental health services in Greater Manchester.
“Mental health is being de-medicalised. The more that happens, the more of these tragic cases we will see.”
Helplines and websites
If you’re struggling to cope with mental health issues here are some of the ways you can access help.
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@.
Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.http://www.depressionalliance.org/
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/