Sign the Petition to

Michael Trout, MP Barron River, Gavin King, MP Cairns, David Kempton MP Cook

PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UNLESS YOU LIVE IN OR HAVE A CONNECTION WITH FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Dear Michael, Gavin and David, I would like to raise the issue of the urgent need for a well-resourced mental health ward at the Cairns Base Hospital dedicated to the care of youth up to the age of 25 years. A focus on acute inpatient beds for youth is imperative for the Far North Queensland region. Too many of our region's youth are dying through suicide, and preventative measures need to be boosted substantially. The Dr Edward Koch Foundation has built up a solid reputation over the past 15 years for its work in the area of suicide awareness and prevention, and counselling of persons bereaved through suicide. The Foundation has heard many stories of distress caused by youth suicide. They have regularly had clients tell them how desperately they have sought help for their young son or daughter, brother or sister, grandchild or other relative or friend, but could not find suitable help. Some have highlighted that in the treatment of youth at high risk of suicide, an adult mental health ward or a paediatric ward is not conducive to the well-being of vulnerable young people. Member for Cairns, Gavin King in a Media Release (August 3rd 2012) stated that he would “work with the new Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Board and my colleagues the Member for Barron River, Michael Trout and the Member for Cook David Kempton to ensure we address long-standing problems, particularly with Cairns Base Hospital.” Federal Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, has since said he is “acutely aware of the issues surrounding mental health beds in Cairns’ (Media Release October 11th, 2012). He spoke of two new beds for mental health patients becoming available and staffed in October 2012 – and these were ‘opened’ recently. When complete in 2015, the redevelopment of Cairns Base Hospital will include an additional 10 mental health beds bringing the total number to 50. That is an improvement. However, when the overall picture for the region is looked at, how many mental health acute inpatient beds, per 100,000 of population will we then have for our region? How many low need inpatient beds? How many 24 hour staffed residential beds? How many for youth (aged under 25)? The social and economic impact of suicide is massive. Suicide remains a significant issue in our region with numbers increasing from last year. According to the Queensland Police Service records the number of suicides has increased dramatically. The Foundation has heard that a number of those who suicided in 2012 were consumers of the Cairns and Hinterland Health Service. This is of great concern. Where else can people get help when they are mentally ill if not from our health services? Not everyone who suicides or experiences suicidal behaviour has a mental illness. However, mental illness is one of the strongest contributing factors for suicide. The rate of suicide attempts nationally is six times higher in persons with a mental disorder than those without. From the stories we continue to hear concerning members of our Far North Queensland Community, it is obvious that there is an urgent need for a well-resourced mental health ward at the Cairns Base Hospital dedicated to the care of youth up to the age of 25 years. A focus on acute inpatient beds for youth is imperative for the Far North Queensland region. I ask for URGENT CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER. Yours sincerely, ............................................... Parent of.......OR husband of etc OR concerned citizen etc

Signed,

Ruth Crouch

This petition closed 4 months ago

How this will help

Health professionals and families of youth and young adults with a mental health problem have been pushing for a proper facility for our young in FNQ for years. They will not be successful until...

Health professionals and families of youth and young adults with a mental health problem have been pushing for a proper facility for our young in FNQ for years. They will not be successful until the community adds its voice. Those signing who have a personal story to tell, please post something here and I will contact you. As you have seen I have posted anonymous stories as updates that illustrate how badly we need this.  Any parent of a teenager or young adult, or even young children, depression can hit or affect anyone for any reason, help us to make sure there is help for your family if you need it. The current alternatives - Paediatric ward with physically sick children, or Adult Mental Health ward are often not even available let alone appropriate.

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