A MENTALLY ill man who says he is a potential danger to other people has criticised the authorities for failing to listen to him.

The Colchester man, who does not want to be named, suffers from bipolar disorder – previously known as manic depression.

After battling the illness for years, he says his health has recently slumped and he is aware his moods are fluctuating.

At his worst he hears voices and has a desire to deliver “retribution” to paedophiles, sex offenders and people who attack the elderly and vulnerable.

Recently he spent an evening sat outside a caravan in Ipswich, waiting for a known sex offender to return.

Afterwards, the man recognised the danger of his actions and, fearful he might carry out his thoughts, he rang the north Essex mental health trust crisis line.

He said: “I tried to tell the nurse I needed help. She accused me of quoting scripture from the film Deliverance, and said I watched too many films and read too many books.

“I was left very stressed, so I went down to the Haven Project in Colchester and spoke to a member of staff who listened as I just let it all out.”

The man says the Haven Project tried to contact the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which allegedly said its psychiatrist was stranded overseas, but promised to maintain telephone contact with him.

He continued: “I have not heard from them since. I am not in my right mind at the moment and the mental health system has treated me as a joke.

“The Haven Project have been fantastic – they are the only ones listening to me, but because they aren’t part of the mental health trust, there’s only so much they can do.

“The mental health trust needs to start listening to people. I read a story about a man with mental health problems who was ignored and he went home and stabbed his wife and children.

“They can’t keep ignoring people, or one day something serious will happen.”

“I am in a very dark place and the voices and urges are pulling at me so hard – I can’t keep fighting them.”

The man contacted the Gazette as a last resort in a desperate plea for help.

He is supported by his wife, who said: “He has recognised he needs help, which is a big step, and we just need someone to do something now. Someone needs to believe him.”

Heather Castillo, chief executive of the Haven Project, said: “We are extending all the help we can to this man.”

Ian Coulson-Thorpe, a spokesman for North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like many organisations, some of our staff have been affected by the disruption to flights. This disruption does not affect the services we provide.

“The trust’s annual leave policy ensures adequate cover is in place so we continue to provide services while staff are on leave.

“Following investigation of the issue raised with us, we have found we spoke to the service user for more than 20 minutes over the phone.

“Our staff are trained professionals and offer high standards of care.”