The New Order’s Bernard Sumner discusses suicide prevention in parliament on Ian Curtis’ birthday

Joy Division’s Bernard Sumner calls for changes to patient confidentiality rules to allow families to care for those with mental health issues and slams waiting lists for treatment on anniversary of ex’s suicide -mate Ian Curtis

  • Iconic Joy Division singer Ian Curtis killed himself 42 years ago today
  • Sumner slammed rules preventing medical details from being shared with family
  • Friend’s son killed himself after they weren’t told about his psychosis

Joy Division and New Order star Bernard Sumner today called for changes to patient confidentiality rules to allow families to better care for people with mental health issues.

The New Wave legend used the anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death to slam rules that prevent loved ones from receiving details of the conditions suffered by those they care for.

The 66-year-old was in Parliament with drummer Stephen Morris to discuss suicide prevention, 42 years after the iconic frontman took his own life aged just 23. Since then, the couple and their bandmates have campaigned for better mental health treatment.

Sumner told the event attended by Labor leader Keir Starmer and Mental Health Minister Gillian Keegan that a friend was forced to care for his son after a failed suicide attempt without knowing what was wrong not at his place.

He would go on to successfully commit suicide and it was only after this that they found out he was suffering from psychosis.

“He was placed in an institution for three weeks and he was seeing a psychiatrist. Medical authorities were unwilling to discuss the issue with his parents as he was of a certain age – 19,’ Sumner said.

“Then he was released from hospital and placed in the care of his parents and they still wouldn’t tell the parents what was wrong. They therefore did not know why he had attempted suicide.

“I understand patient confidentiality, but it seems that in extreme circumstances something should change.”

The 66-year-old was in Parliament with drummer Stephen Morris to discuss suicide prevention, 42 years after iconic singer Curtis took his own life aged just 23. Since then, the couple and their bandmates have campaigned for better mental health treatment.

Sumner told the event attended by Labor leader Keir Starmer and Mental Health Minister Gillian Keegan that a friend was forced to care for his son after a failed suicide attempt without knowing what was wrong not at his house.

Sumner told the event attended by Labor leader Keir Starmer and Mental Health Minister Gillian Keegan that a friend was forced to care for his son after a failed suicide attempt without knowing what was wrong not at his house.

Ian Curtis committed suicide aged 23 in 1980, before Joy Division's first US tour

Ian Curtis committed suicide aged 23 in 1980, before Joy Division’s first US tour

Sumner (centre in Rotterdam with Joy Division in 1980) also spoke of Curtis' rapid decline after being diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed a high dose of barbiturates as treatment.

Sumner (centre in Rotterdam with Joy Division in 1980) also spoke of Curtis’ rapid decline after being diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed a high dose of barbiturates as treatment.

Sumner also spoke of Curtis’ rapid decline after being diagnosed with epilepsy and being prescribed a high dose of barbiturates as treatment.

He described the singer as being “on a mission” to end his life, saying, “I don’t know what more we could have done.”

He blasted the current “ridiculous” wait times for mental health care, warning suicidal people they cannot wait for treatment.

Pressure on the NHS from the pandemic has led to a massive increase in waiting times for a range of elective treatments of up to 18 months.

“You can’t have a waiting list if you’re considering suicide,” he said.

‘It’s ridiculous. You need help right away.

The event, hosted by Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, was hosted by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, whose daughter Natalie took her own life in 2017.

He broke down as he told the public how his death at the age of 28 left him ‘broken’.

Ms Keegan told the event: ‘We know there are huge waiting lists, I look at the waiting list every day. And every person who doesn’t get treatment, I care.

Last month, ministers launched plans for a 10-year program designed to improve people’s care and lives.

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