Letter to Editor: Dealing with Mental Health system

April 20

I have in the past year been to a psychiatrist twice in Perth as I have bipolar and sciziod personality disorder. The first time the Perth psychiatrist compiled a report back to my Dr here in Geraldton recommending that I see a psychiatrist on a regular basis at mental health.

My Dr referred myself to mental health, I was seen by a triage nurse who refused myself based on the fact that I was not suicidal or threatening others. 6weeks ago I was sent to Perth by my workplace for another assessment by the same psychiatrist and the report came back recommending that I see a regular psychiatrist at mental health.

Once again my Dr referred myself to mental health and 2 weeks ago I was contacted by a lady at mental health who made an appointment to see myself at home. The time was made for wednesday 10.00am. I waited until 10.45am and then rang mental health who got her to ring me.

She explained she forgot and had gone shopping instead and commented that she didnt need to see me now as I seemed ok. She told me that the mental health psychiatrist would make an appointment for me soon.

Today I contacted mental health as it has been a month since the referral and asked when I would be assessed or seen. I was told that there was no referral and to go back to my Dr and request another referral.

At this I got angry and explained that this whole process was frustrating and asked why I was the one why had to try to arrange so called professional when I had the mental health issue? I was told to see my Dr.

As you can imagine I am extreemly frustrated at the lack of communication, lack of response and confusion caused by mental health staff. I feel truly sorry for those clients who are less able than myself to address this type of disfunctional so called service.

- Matt.