Mental health patient fears

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Advocate Carol-lyn Mills says the Busselton Health Campus need a Psychiatric ward
Camera IconAdvocate Carol-lyn Mills says the Busselton Health Campus need a Psychiatric ward Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

A new $4.56 million 10-bed mental health facility due to open early next year in Bunbury has been slammed as “not enough” by Busselton mental health activist Carol-Lyn Mills.

The My Place community support worker said mental health patients from Busselton to Margaret River were presenting with high-risk symptoms yet were discharged from Bunbury Regional Hospital within hours.

“If you have a mental illness and self-medicate with drugs, they don’t want to know about you. It’s disgusting,” she said.

Peer support facilitator at Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia Carissa Wright said her experiences were inconsistent and played a part in becoming “a revolving door patient”.

“We need more Medicare- covered therapy with mental health professionals,” she said.

A spokesman for the Bunbury Mental Health Service said there were 30 inpatient beds, with long waiting lists growing every day.

According to the Black Dog Institute, 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

River Brockliss presented to Bunbury Regional Hospital emergency department seven times in 2018 with suicidal thoughts of “mutilating myself”.

Doctors have prescribed him multiple drugs including Chlomipramine, Olanzapine, Mirtazapine and Oxazepam for a range of disorders.

Known side effects of Chlomipramine are suicidal thoughts in young adults.

The 22-year old said “pill popping” led to five unintentional overdoses on medication after discharge, while he left a psychiatric ward recently within 24 hours due to claims of mistreatment.

Despite their concerns clinical director at South West Mental Health Dr Allison Newman said high-risk patients were assessed appropriately before treatment.

“Where clinically appropriate, these plans can include admission to hospital or follow-up with community mental health services and drug and alcohol services,” she said.

Mental Health commissioner Timothy Marney said the State Government was committed to fighting mental health issues.

The commission provides $21.7 million to the WA Country Health Service for the delivery of specialised mental health services in the South West region,” he said.

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