Psychiatric patient kills himself at Presbyterian

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center on Hawthorne Lane in Charlotte.
Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center on Hawthorne Lane in Charlotte. ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlott

A patient at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center killed himself in the seventh-floor psychiatric unit April 6, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The incident involved a 56-year-old Rock Hill man about 4 a.m. on the Monday after Easter. Police investigated and concluded the man committed suicide, according to the April 6 incident report.

The man’s death comes 16 months after another Presbyterian patient attempted suicide by jumping out a window on the same unit. The 25-year-old man suffered broken bones but survived.

The latest incident was reported by Novant Health to the state’s Division of Health Service Regulation, said Alexandra Lefebvre, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. She said details are not released until an investigation is completed.

In response to questions from the Observer, hospital officials released this statement:

“Novant Health takes our responsibility to patients, team members and our community as our first priority and continuously evaluates processes and procedures to ensure we are putting safety at the center of decisions made in our facilities. While privacy laws prevent us from commenting on the specifics of any patient matter, Novant Health follows best practices and established guidelines to ensure we are meeting the needs of our patients and staff to create a safe environment. Novant Health is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our patients.”

Presbyterian’s seventh floor includes mental health, oncology and maternity services. Novant officials declined to specify what safety measures are in place for mental health patients and what, if anything, had been changed since the earlier suicide attempt.

Garloch: 704-358-5078