ADJOURNMENT – ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VICTORIA’S MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM

Mr FREGON (Mount Waverley) (17:29):  My adjournment matter this evening is for the Deputy Premier in his capacity as the Minister for Mental Health, and I ask him to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government will be assisting people in the Mount Waverley district with acute mental health needs. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has told us what we need to do to fix our broken system. We have said that we will adopt every recommendation, and we will, and I have spoken before about my own lived experience and my family’s experience. Today I am going to give the tiniest insight into the day-to-day struggle of one of my constituents and her family. The following is a very small part of a very important contribution provided to the royal commission, one of more than 12 500. This goes to the background of Thea’s illness, and I warn the house that the following involves the mention of suicide:

… she struggles to access treatment and regularly runs away (at least once per week on average and more often recently) from home and treatment centres and attempts suicide.

This generally involves breaking windows and climbing the fence when escaping from home. Police and ambulance are called as a result.

Further on the submission states:

Over the past four years, Thea has been hospitalised more than 50 times for suicide attempts. Thea’s suicide attempts have included many different methods and means. For example, we have to keep all of the cupboards in our house locked up because of Thea’s attempts to take overdoses of various medicines.

Now, Thea’s father was present at the Royal Exhibition Building on Tuesday. He was there to hear every word that was said. Thea and her family are relying on us. Now it is up to us in this house to work together to put into place every recommendation in the report. I look forward to the minister’s response, and I also will do everything I can to make life easier for Thea, her family and every other family who struggles daily with mental illness.