"Response to suicide threat"

About: Royal Melbourne Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a carer),

Last time I wrote, about 12 months ago, you wrote a lengthy reply which I appreciated and you finished by saying that you would: 

"share your posting with the leadership team in the ED and the acute mental health services and thank you for taking the time to let us know of your experience. I hope you and the patient did continue to seek the care that they needed and hope that your next experience at the RMH is a more positive one." You can view my original story here.

Unfortunately, it seems that there has been little change in terms of process and procedure. Recently. my child presented at the ED of the RMH because they were threatening to take their own life. I believe they were left to sit in the emergency waiting room for at least an hour and was not seen. Unsurprisingly my child left. The message RMH sent again was that they didn't matter enough - simply, in my opinion, reinforcing the reasoning they have for attempting to take their own life in the first place. I know that the RMH does some amazing work and that it is a busy place, but in terms of caring for those with mental health concerns not much seems to have changed in my opinion, from nearly 12 months ago when I last wrote.   

With respect, when someone presents as threatening to take their own life I feel their immediate needs are quite basic - a safe place, (away from the public) where they are treated with respect, care and compassion. I believe RMH can't solve the long term issues but I feel they could put in processes and procedures to ensure that the presenting patient is treated with gravitas and dignity.


Response from Care Opinion Australia last week
Submitted on 12/01/2021 at 11:07
Published on Care Opinion at 11:09

This response has been published by Care Opinion, on behalf of the Royal Melbourne Hospital

Dear Help Me

I’m saddened to hear that your family member has again sought support and found our service lacking. I’m aware that my colleague, Prof Braitberg, had responded to a post from you several months ago. We are working closely together as physicians and psychiatrists, together with our nursing colleagues, to continuously improve our services. I would like to hear more about the support that would have been helpful at the time. I encourage you to contact our Consumer Liaison Service on (03) 9342 7806.

Kind Regards,

A/Prof. Peter Burnett

Director of Clinical Governance, NorthWestern Mental Health

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful
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