QLD Health: My son’s suicide could have been avoided - educate emergency staff on suicidal patients
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My precious son committed suicide after being turned away from hospital, his danger of self-harming tragically underestimated.
I had found Chris with multiple self harm injuries from a razor blade before rushing him to hospital - but despite being clearly suicidal they turned my boy away. 11 days later he died.
He received no psychological attention - just a prescription for some Valium and was told to get a good night’s sleep. I was beside myself, knowing this formal rejection would cost Chris his life.
No patient requiring urgent attention should ever be turned away from hospital - end of story.
I honestly do appreciate that emergency departments in hospitals are resource and time poor. But the staff need to receive specialised training and support on how to recognise and respond to ‘at risk’ patients of suicide if we are to reduce the loss of precious lives.
He was told to check in with his local doctor after two weeks, but he never made it to the appointment. The Coroner’s report found there were spare beds in the hospital at the time Chris presented to hospital. That my fragile boy threatening to end his life wasn’t dealt with as a critical emergency is alarming.
My darling boy’s struggle is not unique. More young Australians die by suicide than by motor vehicle accidents or skin cancer. This frightening reality needs addressing.
I cannot bring my boy back but I’ll be damned if I let other parents go through my pain.
I am calling on the QLD Premier and Minister for Health to urgently implement specialised training for emergency hospital staff on how to recognise and respond to suicidal patients.
Please sign my petition and help ensure Chris’ death wasn’t in vain.
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