Family of missing mentally ill man found in Sweden beg authorities to detain him

A man who disappeared from his Yorkshire home last year before turning up in Sweden could go missing again after being released by medical authorities in the Scandinavian country, his family fear.

Nial Atkin – who suffers from "psychosis" and "paranoia" – vanished from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in May last year.

It was initially suspected by police that he had travelled to Scotland.

When a man in Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, took to Facebook to say he had taken a confused Englishman into his home, Nial's family were staggered.

It's thought that Mr Atkin, in his 20s, was then treated by Swedish medical authorities.

But in a statement released by his family yesterday (17 July), his worried family said he has now been released and left to fend for himself.

His parents said: "Nial, our son, when well, is a highly intelligent young man who is eloquent and capable.

"At present, he's too unwell to realise he needs help and support and has estranged himself from everyone he's ever known.

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"This makes him extremely vulnerable in a foreign country.

"As his parents, we are finding this entire situation very stressful."

They added: "We are of course relieved and happy to discover our son is alive, however, due to the red tape and inability to get him help due to being passed from person to person, we are mentally exhausted, and at the end of our tether.

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"We just want him back in Britain getting the excellent care he requires."

Nial's parents had no idea where he was until this week when good Samaritan Jerry Ahlqvist took him in and helped him get medical help.

But after he was discharged and sent on his way, they are once again unsure of his whereabouts.

"As his parents, we have lost months and months of sleep and now due to the situation and lack of action, support and authorities liaising between countries we are extremely worried that the next time we see our son he will be in a body bag," they said.

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"Nial has no means of income, may have lost his passport, probably only has the clothes he's wearing, and has estranged himself from everyone he's ever known."

In the statement, Nial's mum says she has been suffering from chest pains as a result of the ordeal.

The parents, who don't wish to be named, say their son has "been unwell for many years and suffers with significant mental health conditions", including the symptoms of psychosis and extreme paranoia.

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They say he was not sectioned at the time of his disappearance but was being seen by mental health services.

They added: "It was a huge relief, after such a long time to discover that Nial is alive. Unfortunately, we know that he is not well."

Nial's parents are calling for the British government to liaise with the Swedes to ensure he is detained for his own safety and repatriated to the United Kingdom.

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