London Mother Who Killed Herself And Child By Lying Down In Front Of Train Was Reportedly Denied Psychiatric Help

After reportedly being told “I can’t help you” by a psychiatric facility, Donna Oettinger, 41, of London took her own life – including her three-year-old son – on March 22, 2013 by lying on the path of a speeding training with her son in her arms.

The train driver Patrick Cusack wrote a statement about the incident, which mentions the following.

“She jumped down; I think she almost rolled over to cuddle the child. She had a gentle arm, a consoling arm around the child.”

“I thought, ‘oh god I hope I don’t hit him’ because I knew I was going to hit her.”

This isn’t the first time Oettinger had tried to commit suicide by train. She had done so 10 months prior and had also held a knife to her throat. But when she overdosed on prescribed antidepressant, a mental health worker suggested “intensive home therapy” where a doctor and a nurse would visit her home two to three times per day.

However, when psychiatrist Dr. Hemanth Rao from South London and Maudsley NHS Trust evaluated her, he placed her on a waiting list instead.

He went on to say that “Potentially any patient can benefit from home treatment,” according to Daily Mail.

“I don’t really know how the home treatment team (HTT) works in Rotherham, there is a suggestion that there is some psychological treatment that they could give.”

“However in Tamworth Road in London the HTT is not experienced in providing psychiatric therapy.”

“In Rotherham they said the HTT is necessary because of the skills of the team, but the same may not be same in London.”

“I also suspect that the HTT threshold in Rotherham might be much lower than in London.”

Oettinger’s mother, Carol Oettinger, stated that “Donna said she was unhappy to have survived her overdose attempt. We told Dr. Rao about the home treatment recommendation but he said he could not help.”

“I wanted to take her to see somebody so there could be some reassurance that she hadn’t damaged herself, that there were possibilities of her getting better.”

“She wanted to get better. I looked after Zaki, even though Donna was ill she would give him a kiss in the morning and at night when he went to bed.”

“We got to the station and she said ‘I’m going to throw myself under the next train.’ We sat down and I had my legs over her to make her sit there. Zaki was in the pushchair.”

Although strangers and Oettingers’ family had stopped her many times before, they weren’t able to stop her from taking her own life in 2013.

It is unclear why she decided to take her toddler son with her.

[Image courtesy of Berry Lewis/Flickr]

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