Case Study

⊄You are an R.N working in an authorised mental health hospital when police bring in ‘Scott’. Prior to his arrival, Scott’s parents had phoned the police as they were concerned for his safety and wellbeing. He had refused to leave his room, and had stated ‘he was feeling fine’ even though his behaviour suggested otherwise. Scott had also recently been discharged from hospital for a deep cut on his arm, but at the time denied he had deliberately done it.

Information reported from parents

Scott is a 21 year old, Caucasian male, he is 190 cm tall, and weighs 87 kg. Scott lives at home with his parents and has no siblings. Scott’s parents report that over the last few months Scott’s appearance, mood, and behaviour have changed. He has become withdrawn (when before he was social), he sleeps more than he used too, and sometimes they hear him talking to himself. Scott’s personal care has also suffered, often not showering or changing his clothes for several days. This is out of character for Scott who has previously been well dressed and groomed. Scott did have an apprenticeship, but the business closed and he has not been able to work for 4 months. This put strain on his long term relationship and this ended a month ago. As a result he has not seen his usual circle of friends, and has been spending more time out with a group of ‘older people’ that the parents have only seen from a distance. The parent’s report they think Scott’s change in behaviour may be due to drugs or alcohol – but they can’t be certain. They also report they think Scott’s grandfather had a mental illness, and are concerned Scott may have ‘the same thing’.


Scott has also stopped eating meals with them preferring to eat alone in his room. His parents report that he was grouping his food in colours and when they tried to talk to Scott about this, he got angry and irritable. He has lost weight recently. His parents tried to talk with Scott this afternoon (prior to the police being called) and persuade him to see their GP for help. Scott screamed at his parents “no one understands, they said you would try to do this, there is no help for me … I just want it all to end” and ran out the house. This was when the police were notified, and Scott is brought to the mental health facility for assessment.

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