Ashley Coleman took his life in March after being granted an unsupervised cigarette break off-site from Liverpool Hospital’s mental health unit – where smoking has been banned…
As a sufferer of schizophrenia, Coleman had been in and out of Liverpool Hospital’s mental health unit for six years. Previously, he and other patients were able to smoke, under supervision, in a small, open-air courtyard next to the ward.
But under amendments passed by NSW Parliament last year, psychiatric patients across NSW are now confronted with a ”tobacco replacement program”, which includes nicotine patches, educational classes and, in rare cases, leave passes off-site.
Having presented himself to Liverpool Hospital in February, Coleman, 25, had remained in the mental health unit as an involuntary patient until March 30, when he was found dead at the nearby railway station after asking if he could leave the grounds for a cigarette.