Better support for individuals and their family dealing with mental health in Australia
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While the mental health stigma for individuals suffering a mental health illness has been removed in Australia, The mental health system in Australia is still in disarray, Australian government is spending millions of dollars on doing up hospitals across the country. Leaving mental health facilities still in the stone ages. While mental illness can be complex and impact not only the individuals involved but their families as well. The process of recovery can be timely and impacts many families in rural and rural cities with many only having access to psychiatrists once a week, shortage of beds in mental health facilities and unqualified mental health nursing staff.
Our beloved family member was diagnosed with bipolar disorder she has had both manic and depressive episodes. We has a family have struggled to keep up with paying mortgage and trying to support our mother. In the past six months she has been in a rural city mental health facility 4 times, each time we have seen a decline in both her health and mental health. With every time being dicharge lasting 2 and a bit more weeks, we have spend nights worrying about her health and spend nights awake staying with her so she doesn’t commit suicide. Due to bed storage we couldn’t get her into the facility so we spend nights watching over her and hiding medications from her. There was no regular reviews after being discharge from the facility other then her GP playing around with medications and a mental health case worker who has no formal training in mental illness with her saying that mums mental health is fine and clearly it wasn’t.
We know that we are not alone, families struggle with this every day. We call for greater support for the mental health and their families, greater funding, improved discharge practices, improvement of facilities with many looking like prisons, qualified nursing staff, greater education for new nursing staff and greater access to psychiatrists in rural areas.
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