Health is fail­ing us

The Sunday Times - - Your Say Wa -

My heart aches for Amanda and Dar­ran Hall who lost their son to sui­cide (“Don’t for­get Daniel”, TST, Aug 5).

It is ap­par­ent noth­ing much has changed in the health sys­tem since six years ago when we tried to get help for our men­tally ill son. He had a his­tory of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, was as­sessed as a teenager by a psy­chi­a­trist and told there was noth­ing wrong with him. A few years later he had a full-blown psy­chotic episode and we took him to Ar­madale Hos­pi­tal emer­gency de­part­ment.

We were told he could not be ad­mit­ted or med­i­cated with­out blood and other tests and to go home and make an ap­point­ment. They thought he was at no risk of sui­cide. We waited three days with the psy­chosis wors­en­ing. They said they could not find a bed for him. In a para­noid state, he got in his car and drove at speed into an on­com­ing truck. He had se­vere in­juries and we were told he may not sur­vive. Thank­fully he did, though with mul­ti­ple, per­ma­nent in­juries. He fi­nally got a di­ag­no­sis of schizophre­nia. While we are thank­ful for our son’s life, we feel the men­tal health sys­tem failed us and con­tin­ues to fail those most in need of help. We felt our con­cerns were not taken se­ri­ously. How many tragedies will it take to change this bro­ken sys­tem?

NAME AND AD­DRESS SUP­PLIED Life­line 131114

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