"Mental Health Emergency"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department Bunbury Mental Health

(as a relative),

My sibling presented to ED highly suicidal after already attempting that morning. I believe there was only 1 other person in the waiting room, and my sibling was told to sit and wait. And we waited. And waited. All while my sibling's wrists were still bleeding. I believe they felt betrayed, and as if they didn't care. They decided to leave and I couldn't make them stay. They became violent and threw some chairs, as they finally agreed to reach out and get help and was majorly let down. In my opinion, my sibling was a major risk to themselves, and others.

Fast forward a few hours, they were brought back in by police under the mental health act and was made to see a psychologist. This particular psych decided they were fine and able to go home, by themselves, didn't even examine their wrists, gave them nothing to help them sleep, and then tried to make me feel guilty for saying well no, they are not okay.

I am disgusted at the Bunbury Regional Hospital and their lack of any empathy when it comes to Mental Health. I felt it was disgusting. How are people suffering from mental health and suicidal thoughts supposed to seek help when this is the treatment they receive? They needed a bed. They needed help. And they were turned away and betrayed, not once, but twice! 

I am absolutely furious and appalled.


Response from Glen Matters, Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West 2 months ago
Glen Matters
Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 25/05/2020 at 13:24
Published on Care Opinion at 13:26

picture of Glen Matters

Dear annonymous70,

We are deeply sorry for what happened when you and your sibling attended Bunbury Hospital Emergency Department (ED) on two occasions recently.

The anguish and vulnerability you must have both been feeling when you came into the ED is unimaginable and I genuinely apologise that we did not provide you and your sibling with the care and support that you both needed at what was a very distressing and frightening time. I am so very sorry that you were not treated with compassion, empathy and respect at a time when you needed this the most.

There are so many aspects of the experience that you describe which are completely unacceptable, and I do not want this situation to occur again. WA Country Health Service has a policy and guideline for all staff on how to respond to people who present to any health service who may be self-harming or experiencing suicidal thoughts. I will absolutely ensure that our staff working in the ED are fully aware and trained according to this guideline.

In relation to your specific case, I would like to investigate what took place so that we can understand what happened. To begin our investigation, I would really appreciate it if you and your sibling could place your trust in us and reconnect so that we can support you. If you are happy to do this, please contact Glenn Gates who is the Customer Liaison Officer on 9722 1521 or via email swfeedback@health.wa.gov.au. Glenn is waiting for your call and is ready to help you.

Has your sibling been able to receive care from community mental health services or their General Practitioner for support since you shared your story with us? If you would like to, please contact Dr Allison Newman our Director of Clinical Services Mental Health and she will be able to assist you and your sibling in accessing community mental health services. Allison’s phone number is 9781 2373.

I genuinely hope that we hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Glen Matters

Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital

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