Crisis ward and better mental health services in Geelong region for young people

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I believe with the rise in mental health issues in adolescents soaring,the Geelong region is well behind with resources and services that are equipped to respond to young people in a ‘crisis situation’.

Currently the protocol is to call police if there is a risk to themselves or others where they are sometimes required to use force to subdue a young person,which can be an extremely traumatic experience for both the parents and child,  a clinician will asses their risk on site and be transferred to hospital if requiring medical attention. 

The child will then be assessed for risk and sent home if they believe they pose no further risk to themselves or others. Most adolescents will say what they need to so they are able to return home only to have the police and paramedics called again. This puts a huge strain on the family members trying to support them and emergency services as in-hospital services is only a short term solution.

I believe that a crisis centre would be of great value to the wider community as the young people who have a severe emotional disturbance can be supervised in a safe environment with on hand specialists able to observe, diagnose and treat them safely with a longer period of time to make the correct diagnosis instead of a 10-20 minute assessment in a hospital bed after they have been sedated. 

Currently if you require a crisis admission it would be at The Alfred hospital which is an hour and half away which restricts some families from being able to visit and support the adolescent which is imperative to their recovery. 

As the suicide rate amongst young people is escalating and young children having severe self harming issues I believe it is important to have as much access to services that will help at the core of problems and not just a ‘band aid’ solution until next time. 

Families in the Geelong region are suffering from a lack of resources and it is costing young people their lives, destroying families, emotional trauma to all parties involved and a real strain on our emergency services that are continually being called for families in crisis. 

Please I urge anyone that has ever experienced a young person with severe mental health issues or know of a family who has been affected by this ever growing issue to please sign, share and bring awareness that our young children are being let down by a system that can only offer ‘band aid’ solutions.