Earlier this year I, together with a friend, met with Professor S to share our experiences with the mental health system. We were only two of the 891 people interviewed for this independent review into the mental health system in our state. What prompted this review were suicides that occurred after a person interacted with A St (yes, the community mental health service I briefly attended) and did not get the help they needed. For example, one young woman completed suicide the day after being discharged from A St, despite attempting suicide on the ward only the day before. Her suicide attempt was dismissed by clinicians because she has a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.
The report was finally released this week and can be found here. Though I am appalled at how many gaps there are in the system and how horrendous some peoples’ experiences are, I can’t say I’m surprised either. It just makes me angry that so many people have been let down and continue to be. Three of my experiences are included in the Patients’ Experiences section of the report, and I’m not quite sure what to think about that. It feels really weird that many people, including the government, have read this report and may have read of what I told Professor S in the interview.
Apparently the government are taking action based on the recommendations that have come out of this report, but I can’t help being a bit cynical. After all, according to my friend, this report contains the same issues as a 1922 review. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.