Justice For Mental Health Tasmania!

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*TRIGGER WARNING!*

I’d like to shed some light on the mental health system here in Tasmania, it’s beyond RIDICULOUS! This is more so about The Spencer Clinic located inside the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie, Tasmania. Even though the mental health system in Tasmania can be quite ridiculous in itself at times, with not much help being provided, quick fixes being tossed at people or nothing at all. I personally have been to The Spencer Clinic a few years back because I was in a terrible situation and had suicidal thoughts and only hadn’t followed through due to the fact I had a young child who needed someone in case of a waking during the night and didn’t have my house mate home at the time, I am VERY lucky and pushed through the night for my babies. I went to my gp explained what had happened and he put me into The Spencer Clinic. The next day I asked to go home, I wanted and needed to be in an environment I knew and felt safe and back with my babies. They refused and wanted to keep me in, until I pointed out that being there and being separated from my children wasn’t helping my anxiety at all, they FINALLY agreed to let me go home but on the terms that I swore to not cause myself any harm once released and that I receive phone calls everyday, to every second day, to check in to make sure I was fine until mental health became involved outside of the clinic and that I got support from places outside of their clinic, in which I did and got back on my feet and have been fine since, but had been given multiple misdiagnoses from mental health and discharged off their list with no real answers (have since found out I have PTSD). I have heard of two other “easy” cases being kept in The Spencer Clinic, one being for one week because of a psychotic episode and paranoia, and the other being for two weeks for having post natal depression, yet the part that displeases me is that fact I have a friend who cut herself, BADLY (not for attention main artery areas were targeted, in multiple places and was taken to The Spencer Clinic via ambulance on Sunday night and unwillingly discharged on Monday, just 12 HOURS after being admitted (I have her permission to tell this story though I have stated I will not mention her name), she told them she would self harm again to which their reply was absolutely DISGUSTING and brought up a personal matter which made matters worse for my friend instead of giving her the help she was basically begging for! She lives in a town that’s about 45 minutes away from Burnie and was discharged with no money to catch a bus home and no other way to get home and none of her next of kins were notified! And they knew she would self harm again because she needed more help from them, but the total lack of duty of care on their part they let her go anyway, again against her will and she even refused to leave until she could no longer refuse. She then ended up back at the clinic later that day, VERY luckily!, desperately saying she needed help still and they refused her until she hurt herself again right in front of them! She hadn’t been seen by a psychiatrist or psychologist on either days, even though she is on an active mental health plan and should have been seen as soon as someone possibly could, on the first night she hadn’t even had her wounds seen to properly until sometime in the morning before they finally properly attended to her wounds. She has since told me that an alarm went off and she seen the “care givers” just poked their head out from the area they were in and just “shrugged off” the alarm and turned it off! I know of another serious suicidal attempt to which they basically ignored also, where a young lady had hung herself with fencing wire in early February 2015 and was discharged from The Spencer Clinic by noon that same day, she was saturated in her own urine, had visible welts on her neck from the wire and had burst blood vessels throughout both of her eyes and once again minimal to help that person also before discharging her (I also have this lady’s permission to share her story). The Spencer Clinic is appalling!

It brings me to question how many serious cases have they just pushed aside and caused the deaths of those people because they didn’t help?! Or how many people have left there without sufficient help and tried to overdose to end their lives but ended up with brain damage or something instead? And I personally think that if The Spencer Clinic does get looked into that, if possible, someone does a check on who they have had in their care and if there were deaths after being discharged due to their ignorance for those in need and for the clinic to be held accountable.

The Spencer Clinic needs to be looked into because I feel they are not sufficiently doing their jobs, the duty of care is very much lacking, to help the people who need it the most and basically take on the “easier” cases and keep them there.

It’s not fair and it’s not right! And I’m hoping with all the support that I hopefully receive on this matter and if people have had or know of similar circumstances regarding The Spencer Clinic in Burnie, Tasmania to please come forward and we can hopefully get that place looked into and have this pure lack of duty of care resolved so we can hopefully have the help people deserve in the right manner.

Thank you for your time.



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