I took my young adult child into RPH emergency department in the evening recently with acute anxiety and suicide ideation. The ED did not seem too busy at the time and my child was triaged within 5 minutes. We were told it would be about an hour’s wait.
We waited for a number of hours and over that time my child became increasingly agitated and distressed. I approached a different nurse on 3 separate occasions expressing my concern for my child's safety but they told me my child just had to wait. I asked if there was anywhere else I could take them and they indicated not. One nurse told me I was welcome to leave but couldn’t advise where to go.
I had to physically restrain my child, who is a young adult, on a number of occasions when they wanted to run out of the ED as it was so overwhelming with bright lights, people, noise, patients vomiting etc. I even called the suicide line, but they said they couldn’t help.
After 5 hours in the waiting room we were finally called into the ED. My child was now in a hyper-anxious state. We were taken to a cubicle in ED where we waited another 3 hours to eventually be seen by psychiatric staff. Another 2 hours later to be seen by an ED doctor and finally be admitted to hospital. That is 10 hours after entering the ED.
What a shocking ordeal to experience for someone in an acute mental state (and for me as their carer). It was extremely fortunate that I was there to support them (as they normally live on their own). Without me to restrain and support them, I believe my child would have without doubt fled the situation and attempted to take their own life because ‘no one cares’.
Clearly, in my opinion, the emergency mental health system in WA is completely broken. How many young lives are lost, and will continue to be lost because there seems to be such woeful support for mental health?
"Care in a mental health emergency"
About: Royal Perth Hospital / Emergency Department Royal Perth Hospital Emergency Department Perth 6000
Posted by ActionRequired (as ),