Saturday 1 October 2016

Suicidal girl (13) spent three months on a general ward

Ryan Nugent

Published 20/04/2016 | 02:30

Until last Monday the child was kept on a medical ward and was only receiving a one-hour weekly visit from a psychiatrist. Stock photo
Until last Monday the child was kept on a medical ward and was only receiving a one-hour weekly visit from a psychiatrist. Stock photo

A suicidal teen who was left on a general hospital ward has finally been sectioned for mental health treatment.

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The 13-year old had been held on a medical ward at a general hospital in the South East untreated for three months after two suicide attempts in just over a week.

While her mother says the in-patient move is "a great step forward", she has no idea when she will get to speak to her daughter next.

"It's very difficult, because there's very little feedback. How long she's going to stay there we don't know," said the woman. "I've had to walk away leaving her in tears. She knows she needs to be there to get better, but she doesn't know when she's going to see me again.

"There are phones on the ward, but when she can use them is at the staff's discretion," she added.

The mother has also been left in the dark as to when she will be allowed visit. However, she believes the move to the mental health facility is an important step in the child's recovery.

On January 23, the girl overdosed on prescription tablets and, after one night under observation, she was sent home. However, eight days later she was again rushed to hospital after taking more the pills.

Until last Monday the child was kept on a medical ward and was only receiving a one-hour weekly visit from a psychiatrist. Her condition deteriorated while in the hospital, as she began self-harming. But no mental health facility deemed her suitable for in-patient treatment up until last week.

The child was assessed by a specialist on Friday and received confirmation that she qualified for the type of care available on Monday.

She was admitted to the in-patient facility yesterday morning. Although she is mentally drained from the whole ordeal of trying to organise care for her daughter, the mother insisted "this is a great step forward".

Irish Independent

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