The mental health situation in Geraldton

On Friday evening a man was in a siege situation with Police in Spalding, Geraldton. He had, what he called, a hostage for a short time, and contacted Everything Geraldton while still in a stand off with the Police. 

I spoke with him on the phone for some time, while he explained he was doing this because he couldn't get help in Geraldton with regards to his mental state. He had already let his hostage go. 

I agreed to do a story on the situation with regards to mental health services in Geraldton if he handed himself to the Police without incident. 

Some time later after calling myself several times and talking with the Police negotiator outside his window, he handed himself over peacefully to the Police. I had attended the premises at his request. For my own safety Police did not permit me to get too close to the home. 

While he probably posed no real threat to any of the Police, they managed to end the situation completely without injury to any party, which was a good outcome. 

I had given my word that I would do the story on mental health, and I have been considering since Friday how to best go about that. 

I just had a conversation with a close friend in Geraldton who I shared the story with, and they shared their own personal experience of dealing with the mental health services in Geraldton. 

With their permission, what follows is the brief conversation I had and what I hope is a little insight into what it's like for someone suffering with a mental illness in Geraldton. 

Those who do not suffer from any such affliction often struggle to empathise with those who do, and this makes for a difficult situation. 

I hope that as empathy and compassion in our community grows toward those that are suffering, we can reach a solution that will actually help.

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