If I knew what I know now, I never would have agreed to it
– Isabelle Garnett
The family of an autistic teenager who has spent the last six months stuck inside a psychiatric unit say he is being kept “like a prisoner”. Matthew Garnett, 15, has autism, learning difficulties and ADHD, as well as mental health issues that are yet to be properly assessed.
He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in September and placed in a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) which is meant to provide emergency short term care and treatment for people suffering with mental illness. But almost six months on, Matthew is still languishing in the PICU, as there are no beds available at any specialist autistic unit that could meet his needs.
Matthew’s parents Robin and Isabelle have now started an online petition calling for NHS bosses to find Matthew a space and release him from the unit and they join us this morning.