Suicide prevention advocate praises new Metro South mental health line

MELANIE WHITING

Mental health line 1300 MH CALL now up and running in hospitals in Metro South. Source: Pixabay

A new 24 hour mental health care line for hospitals in Brisbane’s Metro South has gained the support of suicide prevention advocate Ms Kerrie Keepa.

1300 MH CALL was created to streamline all mental health related calls made to hospitals located in Metro South region, including Brisbane South, Logan, Redlands and Scenic Rim.

“Hospitals and doctors need to make available to people other options, the hospital just gave [Christopher] ten valium, sent him home and said, ‘have a good sleep and you’ll be fine tomorrow’.

Before MH CALL went live this month three different mental health lines were operating for hospitals in the region.

Ms Keepa became a suicide prevention advocate after her son Christopher Ball, 21, took his own life after being turned away from Redlands Hospital in September 2014.

Ms Keepa with a photo of her son, Christopher Photo: Supplied

Ms Keepa with a photo of her son, Christopher
Source: Supplied

She said the 1300 MH CALL service could help prevent stories like Christopher’s.

“I do think it would have helped him, people need to be made aware of it though,” she said.

“Hospitals and doctors need to make available to people other options, the hospital just gave [Christopher] ten valium, sent him home and said, ‘have a good sleep and you’ll be fine tomorrow’.

“If they can’t do something when someone’s in crisis they need to give them other options, and this is another really good option, I think.”

Executive Director of Mental Health Services at Metro South Health Professor David Crompton could not provide comment on Christopher’s case, but acknowledged improvements to mental health services in Metro South were needed.

He said MH CALL would add to the process and benefit the community.

“[At present] if they are unsure of what to do, they come and sit in the emergency department,” he said.

“When they ring they are going to be talking to a clinician who can give them some expert advice and we can make a decision on how rapidly someone needs to be seen by the service.

“So we’re going to get a better standard and a more consistent level of care that’s available for people throughout the day.”

1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55) is now available for people seeking mental health support in the Metro South region including Brisbane South, Logan, Redlands and Scenic Rim.

Kerrie Keepa has her own Facebook page for survivors of suicide SOS Fast.

To view her latest petition click here.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: