A MOTHER of a 20-year-old man that died by suicide last month has said the mental health act needs to be changed.
Zac Beuzeville suffered from anxiety all of his life according to his mother Sharon, and he had sought help in the lead-up his death.
Mrs Beuzeville said he was assessed by staff at Bloomfield Hospital on three separate occasions in the lead-up to his death on July 1.
“If someone is seen once and they let them got that’s fine, if they are seen twice or three times the alarm bells should start ringing,” she said.
“I think the mental health act needs to change because when people have their visits they can say I’m OK.”
Mrs Beuzeville said she received phone calls from Bloomfield Hospital staff to ask if she was happy for her son to come home, to which she said yes.
She said she should have been told her son required help and was not OK to come home, rather than giving her a choice.
Western NSW Local Health District mental health drug and alcohol manager of service delivery Bruce Middleton declined to comment on Mr Beuzeville’s case specifically.
However, Mr Middleton said every person who presents to Bloomfield Hospital is given a full mental health assessment.
“Mental health treatment is based on the principle within the mental health act that people should receive mental health care in a way that is less restrictive,” he said.
“Once at Bloomfield Hospital they are assessed by a medical officer who is authorised under the mental health act to decide if the person requires admission for involuntary mental health treatment.
“This decision then needs to be endorsed by a second authorised medical officer.”
Mr Middleton said once a person is over 18 years old, they are able to determine their own treatment plan.
“As long as a person has the capacity to give informed consent, and is 18 or over, they can make arrangements for any type of medical assessment or treatment for themselves,” he said.
While Mrs Beuzeville said she did not attribute blame of her son’s death on staff at Bloomfield Hospital, she questioned how they could continue to accept he was OK.
“They should do something mandatory rather than it being voluntary,” she said.
“How can you continually say I’m OK?”