The mother of a 21-year-old man who took his own life said he was turned away by Redland Hospital because he was “attention-seeking”.
Christopher Ball’s heartbroken mother Kerrie Keepa had rushed her son to the emergency department after an attempted suicide.
She cannot understand the hospital’s lack of concern and said her son’s death could have been prevented.
“I took him to where I thought I could get help and was turned away,” she said.
“He’s gone forever – they can’t fix that. [Christopher] was really badly depressed, so much so that his friend and I were a tag-team 24-hours a day. He wasn’t ever left alone.”
After being prescribed various anti-depressants by the local GP, Christopher lost his battle with depression on September 14.
Ms Keepa blames the Redland Hospital for his death.
“There is no support or empathy,” she said.
“Families are just being left to deal with it on their own… the [staff] that are meant to be making decisions are just so disconnected.
“Mental health has got out of hand. [The health system] can’t deal with it anymore. It’s like it’s become too hard.”
Ms Keepa is determined to change the state of how hospital staff treat people with mental health issues, and has created the SOS Fast page on Facebook to spread awareness and support for those suffering from depression.
“I started the SOS Fast page because I just wanted to tell my story with my son,” she said.
“Families aren’t given any support in regards to what to do. They are basically sent away to deal with the situation as best as they can… [and] you can’t do it on your own.”
Ms Keepa has a message for people who are caring for someone with depression or are suicidal, saying ‘you cannot give up’.
“Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, don’t walk out of there with nothing. Insist that they do something to help you, go somewhere else, just don’t stop.”
“Go back to the doctor and stay with your child 24-hours a day – don’t let them out of your sight. Get friends and family to help if the people that are trained to won’t.”
The Source contacted Redland Hospital today but they were unable to comment by our deadline.*
This week is national Mental Health Week, which runs until October 11.
*Updated 13 October 2014.