Queensland Hospital Mental Health Deaths Under Independent Investigation

Brisbane, Queensland – The recent series of deaths by suicide at a mental health unit in Prince Charles Hospital has prompted an independent examination into the situation. The Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman, has confirmed the initiation of a review following the loss of three individuals within the facility over the past 16 months. Additionally, two other patients have harmed themselves at the 60-bed unit during this timeframe, with the most recent incident occurring in April.

The Health Minister expressed her support for the investigation and conveyed her condolences to the families affected by these tragic events. She emphasized the importance of working closely with the families during the review process, acknowledging the distress of losing a loved one. Queensland Health is prepared to act on the recommendations resulting from the review, which is anticipated to be concluded by the middle of the year.

Amid concerns over the incidents, Queensland Health has already conducted a clinical review and implemented several improvements to enhance the unit’s services. These efforts include the reinforcement of frontline staff and the upcoming opening of a new crisis stabilisation unit at Prince Charles Hospital in September.

Despite the progress made in mental health services in Queensland, Health Minister Fentiman acknowledged the growing demand for such services across the region. Recognizing the historic stigma surrounding mental health discussions, she emphasized the importance of destigmatizing the conversation and ensuring adequate funding for mental health services.

However, Opposition leader David Crisafulli raised concerns about the state of mental health, labeling it as a crisis. He pointed out the increasing societal pressures that have led to individuals “falling through the cracks.” These remarks underscore the urgent need for comprehensive action to address mental health challenges in the community.

For immediate support and assistance, individuals in crisis can contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or beyondblue at 1300 22 4636.