Stark Mandurah options during mental health crisis detailed by local grandmother

Health concerns: A Mandurah resident said her granddaughter is suffering with no mental health inpatient service at Peel Health Campus. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.
Health concerns: A Mandurah resident said her granddaughter is suffering with no mental health inpatient service at Peel Health Campus. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

The absence of an inpatient mental health service at Peel Health Campus and an eight-week wait for some services at the Peel Health Hub has been scrutinised by a local resident, who says her teenage granddaughter has suffered as a result.

We have chosen not to name the Mandurah resident to protect her granddaughter's identity.

She said her 12-year-old granddaughter had suffered from psychotic episodes and outbursts over the last three years and regularly attempted to self harm.

The grandmother said police were called to assist during an episode and would take the girl to Peel Health Campus.

"Police will take her into emergency and will stay with her until she sees a doctor," she said.

"Then the doctor will say there is nothing they can do and send her home. But we want her to stay in the hospital and be looked after so she's safe."

We want her to stay in the hospital and be looked after so she's safe.

Mandurah grandmother

The grandmother said she had been told by friends to take her granddaughter straight to Rockingham General Hospital, due to the lack of an inpatient mental health service at Peel.

But, she said it was difficult and sometimes impossible to travel the distance to Rockingham in the car while her granddaughter was having a psychotic episode.

"Most of the time these episodes last for hours," she said.

The grandmother said she was told her granddaughter would have to wait eight weeks for a psychologist appointment at the Peel Health Hub.

A South Metropolitan Health Service spokesman said a patient presenting to the Peel Health Campus with mental health related issues was reviewed by the psychiatric liaison nurse.

"If they require an inpatient stay, the patient will remain in the ED until a bed has been allocated in a mental health facility within the WA Health system," the spokeswoman said.

"For children and adolescents, this bed would usually either be at Perth Children's Hospital or the East Metropolitan Youth Unit at Bentley Hospital.

"If a patient does not require inpatient care, they are discharged and referred for follow up by community mental health services, their GP or other community-based services, as appropriate."

The spokeswoman said patients were triaged and treated according to the severity of their illness at the time of presentation.

A Peel Health Hub spokeswoman said a care coordination team was needed for the clinic.

"Services in the Peel Health Hub have experienced a massive increase in activity and some services do currently have a wait list of up to eight weeks," she said. "Peel Youth Medical Service (PYMS) does not.

"The case you have described is a clear demonstration of the need for funding of front-end care coordination at the Peel Health Hub to facilitate appropriate and timely care.

"We have facilitated access to determine appropriate support for this young person and their family."

If you need help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.