Inquiry into LNP's closure of mental health facility for teens announced

I think you've misunderstood the situation. The facility that was closed down, as this article reminds, was Queensland's only long-term residential facility and it treated high-risk adolescents. Prior to its closure the LNP QLD Government was warned that the closure put many of the patients at greater risk. What the patients at the facility needed was stability, constant monitoring and professional care in an environment tailored to the childrens' needs. With the closure that was taken away. The remaining options that families had to choose from were not nearly up to par - which should be plain as day when you read in the article that one of the children who ended their lives was placed in an adult care facility.

You can't take a high-risk child, put them in a facility that is not intended for them, and expect positive results. To that end it is unlikely that the fault would lie with any of the staff - as they can only work with the tools they have. And remember, better tools were there until the decision was made to close the original facility.

Parents and friends could do very, very little. They aren't professionals. And they cannot watch these children 24/7. Not to mention most of them are not equipped to handle the complex issues that people, especially teenagers and children, face when suffering from mental illnesses like PTSD, major depression, bipolar depression and anxiety disorders.

We have a bullying problem in this country, I agree, but it is unlikely that bullying stands at the center of the problem for every child. Again, these kids suffered from mental illness. Sometimes bullying can trigger illness. Most of the time there's a great deal more to it than that. Since this is a separate problem I'll leave it there.

Is the LNP government in QLD responsible for the death of three kids? Maybe - that isn't for any one of us to decide. Did the closure of the facility they were being treated in have a significant role to play in the events that followed? Definitely - that isn't even in question here. It was pointed out before the closure, it was pointed out when it was happening and the lesser options were presented to families, and the staff that have been treating these kids knew it when three of them took a turn for the worse and ended their lives.

The last thing I'll say? The closure happened absolutely to save a few dollars. Its closure, whether or not the decision makers did it knowing the risks, was callous. They took an essential service and gutted it, and regardless of deaths, people suffered because of it.

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