MORE than a year after the tragic death of Damien Roberts by suicide, his distraught mother Louise Roberts said the blame should rest with Orange Health Service.
Damien was 20 years old when he made the decision to suicide on April 6, 2012, just months after he received a mental health assessment by staff at the health service.
Mrs Roberts said her son was brought to the hospital by paramedics in late October, 2011 after he threatened self harm.
After a three hour wait and a five-minute assessment, Damien was sent home Mrs Roberts said.
Mrs Roberts and her youngest son Adam decided to contact Central Western Daily journalists to share their story with the hope procedures at the health service will change.
“I think about this every day and she [mental health assessor] should never have let him go home,” she said.
“The hospital should be reported for what they’ve done.”
Adam was just 16 when Damien died and he said the death has ripped their family apart.
“If someone’s threatened their own life it should be done [mental health support] mandatory,” he said.
“It’s hard to think that we’re never going to see our brother again or share our lives.”
Western NSW Local Health District mental health drug and alcohol director Russell Roberts (no relation to family) declined to comment on this specific death as it is still before the coroner.
“The health service offers its sincere condolences to the family for their deep loss,” he said.
Mr Roberts said the duration of a mental health assessment can vary.
“It depends on the complexity of the situation and the clinical indicators,” he said.
He said when someone threatens self harm they are carefully assessed and follow-up support is offered for people that present with a mental health issue.
“Their assessment is discussed, family involved where possible, their safety established and follow up is offered,” he said.
Mrs Roberts said her son had not suffered from any mental health issues prior to the assessment, but he should have been required to seek mandatory treatment due to the threats of self harm.
“I asked him if he wanted to go home and he said no,” she said.
“I blame the people of the mental health that sent him home that day ... what do you have to do?”
Adam has vowed to remember his big brother as someone who was happy and was “always making people laugh”.
“I’ve never really seen him sad or upset,” he said.
The 24-hour NSW Mental Health Line is 1800 011 511 or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.