Better Understanding of Mental Illness at Sydney Dental Hospital

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My name is Edward Hart and I'm living with four extremely painful wisdom teeth that continue to get infected causing my gums to swell and bleed, which results in me struggling to chew and eat food. These infections can last for over a week and there is no easy way to manage them. I was finally referred to Sydney Dental Hospital back in September of 2016 so that I might undergo surgery to have all of them removed. I have been on the waiting list for 9 agonising months awaiting surgery.
 
Finally, Tuesday the 20th of June, I had my pre-anaestetic consultation. It was a cold rainy morning and I was out of the house before sunrise so I might arrive early for my appointment. I was so thankful for this day.
 
At the hospital I had to meet several nurses and doctors so they could check to make sure I was okay for surgery. My blood pressure and heart rate were good. Next onto the anaesthetists (the person who would be responsible for administering the general anaesthetic). It was during this interview that my mental health came under scrutiny. I was perceived as a threat, a risk as there was no telling how I might react after waking up from my procedure. The concern was that I might become a threat to myself or others, just because of my mental illness.
 
This stigma has been following me for too long. I'm a caring, loving person who hates all forms of violence.
 
Now, because of one persons preconceptions of what someone with a mental illness might do, I'm forced to go to another hospital in order to have my surgery. This means that I am now at the beginning of a new and longer waiting list. I was no longer going to have surgery within a couple weeks, now I would be waiting up to another 12 months .
 
I must wait so that Concord Hospital can give me a new consultation. I have to go through all the same hoops all over again. My doctors and specialists have been telling me that my life matters, but it has become obvious more than ever that the misconceptions of mental illness are still present in today's world.
 
This petition is here to raise awareness and help educate people, to further explain to hospital staff, and give strength to all those who are beaten down because they are "different". Understand that someone with a mental illness is an individual with hopes, dreams and needs. That I, or anyone, shouldn't just be palmed off and ignored because of a gross misconception. 



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