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Letter: Tragic loss of life

Date published: 19 February 2018


Dear Editor,

I was told by the regular Big Issue vendor on Yorkshire Street today that the man tragically killed by a lorry on St. Mary's Gate last week was a town centre beggar who could be seen regularly on the corner of The Walk and Yorkshire Street who had been street homeless for some time.

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/116137/man-died-in-collision-with-lorry-that-closed-st-marys-gate

This would be very sad if true since if the man concerned is in fact the same man who was involved in the accident he had struggled courageously for many years to overcome debilitating mental health issues.

Our thoughts and sincere commiserations go to his family, friends, PCSOs and all of those involved in or witnessing this tragic loss of a human life.

This is clearly a dreadful tragedy for all involved in the accident and highlights the need for action with respect to the high incidence of mental health issues amongst the rough sleeper population many of whom self-medicate, (sometimes through drug, alcohol or substance abuse), since they have in many cases no access to GP surgeries through homelessness.

Mentally ill people require medical treatment and care not scapegoating and stigmatisation by our local council who do not have to try and enforce poorly drafted or almost unworkable legislation with few resources and even less logistical support.

Yours,

Andrew Wastling

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

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