Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Hanged girl never saw a psychiatrist

A teenager who told a doctor of her suicidal thoughts and later hanged herself was never treated by a psychiatrist, an inquest has been told.

Michaela Mundy, 15, was found hanging in the shed at her mother's Adelaide home in July last year.
She had been suffering from anxiety and depression for some time and had been treated by a social worker at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, a GP with a special interest in mental health issues and a psychologist.
But counsel assisting Naomi Kereru told South Australian coroner Mark Johns on Tuesday that the court would hear that while the girl's depression required the intervention of a psychiatrist, that never eventuated.
Ms Kereru said in the week leading up to her death, Ms Mundy told a doctor that she was feeling more suicidal after having her anti-depressant medication halved.
The teenager told the doctor she was "thinking of hanging all the time and how to do it".
Her medication was increased again and she was thought to be calmer and more content.
On the day of her death, the girl was happy and smiling, the court heard.
Ms Kereru said after Ms Mundy had talked about hanging herself, the coroner would be told that a more thorough assessment should have been conducted.
After Tuesday's opening statement the father of the dead girl, Michael Mundy, took the unusual step of addressing the court to correct what he believed were some factual errors.
He said it was important for the court to understand that his daughter's mental health issues stemmed from when his relationship with her mother broke up when she was aged six.
Mr Mundy said Michaela had been "traumatised" by the split.
Mr Johns said his inquiry would focus on the care the girl was provided by mental health agencies and it was not his intention to pry into "intensely private" matters.
The inquest is continuing.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.
Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/09/03/14/27/hanged-girl-never-saw-a-psychiatrist

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