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"Mental health stay shockingly unhelpful"

About: Bentley Mental Health Services / East Metropolitan Youth Unit (EMYU)

(as the patient),

I stayed at EMKYU for 2 weeks, and it was my first time ever going to a psych ward. Vast majority of the time, I felt I was not listened to & people did not take my conditions seriously. I feel certain the nurses do not receive enough, if any, training for how to deal with a patient on the autistic spectrum.

I had a severe autistic meltdown and what the nurses did to ‘help’ me was many of them surrounding me, literally shouting at me all at once that I needed to calm down and that all the other patients were scared of me and that they had to cancel the groups because the patients didn’t want to be around me if I was acting like a child.

What made them think it was a good idea to all yell at an autistic person who was very clearly, in my opinion, uncomfortable and convince them that it’s their fault? I was mortified. After about 2 hours of humiliation I was left to clean myself and the table up, had a horrible headache (during the meltdown I was banging my head on the table and couldn’t control my body or speak) and was considering leaving and going home because I was convinced that everyone hated me and I couldn’t face them.

I also have multiple physical health conditions and chronic pain and fatigue and was told multiple times by different nurses that I was too young to be tired and they insisted that that morning walk would make me feel better, even after me telling them that the last time I did the walk I couldn’t do any groups or anything for 2 days afterwards because it exhausted me so much.

I feel like they know nothing about autism, chronic illness, sensory overload (was told off for not going to a group that I was under the impression was optional because I couldn’t be around all the different strong smells with the harsh lighting and random beeping in other rooms that wouldn’t stop), executive dysfunction, or eating disorders. I felt I received so much disrespect and ignorance from almost every nurse. Everything that happened to me truly shocked me and I was immensely disappointed by the treatment. I think you need to train your nurses better.  

Responses

Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group last week
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 12/10/2021 at 16:24
Published on Care Opinion at 17:11


picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear yellowft83,

Thank you for taking the time to make us aware of your experience while admitted in the EMYU. I am saddened and disappointed to hear of your experience and the very difficult time you had during your stay with us. I am truly sorry that we did not treat you with understanding and empathy and did not provide the care you needed. I would like to acknowledge that this is not the standard of care that we strive to provide to our patients.

I would like to convey my most sincere apology to you for the distress you experienced. I am concerned that you felt disrespected and ignored. I take concerns like this seriously and would like to offer you the opportunity of discussing those concerns further so we can investigate the matter thoroughly and ensure this not happen again to anyone else. I would encourage you to contact the Consumer Engagement Unit on (08) 9224 1637. 8am to 4pm or email RPBG.Feedback@health.wa.gov.au.

Kind Regards,

Dr Lesley Bennett

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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