Justice for Nicky Stevens
The death of musician Nicky Stevens was preventable. Can you help Nicky's family fight for the truth to be heard?
Support Nicky's family and their fight to make the health system accountable – please Givealittle to Nicky's campaign.
Nicky Stevens died in March when Waikato Hospital's Henry Bennett Centre let him out unescorted and unwatched while he was a compulsory inpatient, at high risk of suicide.
He drowned in the Waikato River on 9th March after being given his 5th 'cigarette break' of the morning – after his parents had repeatedly warned Hospital management and psychiatrists (in writing and face to face) NOT to let him out unsupervised, for fear of him drowning himself in the nearby river.
Nicky's family was not listened to by the Hospital leaders, and their worst fears came to pass.
The family is now without their loved son, brother, uncle, nephew and grandson – and they are facing high legal costs in the Coroners' court and other inquiries looking at the causes of Nicky's death. They have no choice about participating in these processes.
The Hospital/Waikato DHB have refused the family's request to fund their legal costs, but are using taxpayer funds to cover their own legal defence, and to support the management and psychiatrists responsible.
It is an unfair, uneven playing field that the family face – and they are asking you to help them find justice for Nicky, with any amount you can afford.
All funds raised will go towards legal costs charged Nicky's family for legal representation in the Coroner's inquest, Waikato Hospital's own internal investigation, and any Health & Disability Commission inquiry. Any surplus will be used to support other families going through similar battles with NZ's mental health system.
For more information on the circumstances around Nicky's preventable death please visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nickyautumnstevens
Tony Stevens' involvement
I am Nicky's brother, his only sibling. His family should not have to pay tens of thousands while they are mourning the loss of their youngest son and brother. We want justice and are fighting hard to make sure our voice is heard - but we can't do it alone. Nicky needs representation to make sure the truth isn't covered up and to ensure the Waikato DHB are held accountable for his death.
This page is on behalf of The Macpherson-Stevens family: Nicky Stevens (deceased), Jane Stevens and Dave Macpherson (his parents), stakeholders in mental health awareness.
Other page links
Nicky's family has asked for a face-to-face meeting with the Minister responsible for Mental Health (Jonathan Coleman) in Wellington, to discuss what are widespread issues with NZ’s Mental Health services:
• A failure to willingly involve families of patients in treatment and care decisions;
• A failure to enable independent reviews and investigations of deaths and serious harm incidents;
• A failure to support families grieving over the loss of loved ones;
• A failure to ensure appropriate security procedures are physically in place at mental health facilities;
• A failure by Mental Health services to accept accountability for deaths and serious harm incidents happening on their watch;
• A failure to recognize lay and community expertise in mental health treatment;
• An over-reliance on clinical opinion in this very inexact area of health;
• A shortage of resources, including staffing and training;
• A culture of ‘sweeping under the table’ serious harm incidents
• An unwillingness on the part of the Ministry of Health to recognize and ‘join the dots on’ the widespread and severe nature of these issues.
Nicky's family has already been hurt by the delays and obstacles put in our way by state agencies, while we are trying to establish the truth about what happened to their son.
They are appalled at the lengthy, time-consuming and expensive processes families such as theirs are put through in these circumstances.
Their hearts go out to the other families, because they know what the others are going through.
They only wish that the Government, the Ministry of Health and the state Mental Health services they mandate would have the same empathy, and determination to find the truth that affected families are showing.
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This page was created on 21 Apr 2015 and closed on 31 Dec 2015.
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