Teen pleads for more sup­port ser­vices

Mandurah Coastal Times - - COASTAL TIMES -

A TEENAGE girl des­per­ate for help says more sup­port ser­vices are needed to cope with Man­durah’s “men­tal health epi­demic”.

“Sui­cide rates have dra­mat­i­cally in­creased and there is an ob­vi­ous need for more sup­ported ser­vices,” she said.

“What am I sup­posed to do when I am ask­ing for help but be­ing turned away by ev­ery sin­gle ser­vice?

“Where is the help and sup­port to as­sist in my re­cov­ery?

“I am dev­as­tated by the lack of sup­port I am re­ceiv­ing and am des­per­ate for this to change.”

The 18-year-old was de­scrib­ing her men­tal health treat­ment over the past three years.

She has been re­ferred to many lo­cal and Perth ser­vices.

“Even though I am en­gaged with these ser­vices, I feel in­cred­i­bly let down and dis­heart­ened by the lack of sup­port I am re­ceiv­ing,” she said.

“Al­though I have a writ­ten man­age­ment plan stat­ing I can ac­cess an ad­mis­sion when­ever I need, this is cer­tainly not the case.

“The ma­jor­ity of times I have pre­sented to an Emer­gency Depart­ment to ac­cess the cri­sis ad­mis­sion, I have been wait­ing in ED for a few days on av­er­age.

“On many oc­ca­sions I have been ad­vised by the psych li­ai­son at the hospi­tal that it is not worth wait­ing as there are no beds avail­able at any ap­pro­pri­ate men­tal health unit.

“This is in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing for me as it takes courage to reach out for help and sup­port, only to be turned away. This re­sults in my fam­ily hav­ing to take the full re­spon­si­bil­ity for my care and safety, even when I am at cri­sis point.

“There would be an out­rage if a pa­tient with a bro­ken leg was de­nied treat­ment and sent home from an Emer­gency Depart­ment. What is the dif­fer­ence?”

The girl said help in the com­mu­nity was not much bet­ter.

“I have been iden­ti­fied as a young per­son with ex­cep­tion­ally com­plex needs, yet have been de­nied ac­cess to a range of dif­fer­ent sup­port and treat­ment ser­vices. I have been re­ferred to over 22 dif­fer­ent sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tions and sup­port ser­vices. I have been de­nied care by all of them,” she said.

She said strate­gies needed to be put into place to in­crease ac­cess to ser­vices, not ex­clu­sion cri­te­ria that cre­ated bar­ri­ers to ser­vices.

She ap­pealed for im­proved ac­cess to ser­vices and more com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween ser­vices.

“Please help make this hap­pen and help in any ca­pac­ity you can be­fore there is an­other youth sui­cide,” she said. d465612

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Bare cup­board: Liz Lip­scombe, An­gelo Gangemi and Tracey Bain are wait­ing on do­na­tions to suc­cess­fully run the soup kitchen.

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