Hi All, As you all may agree, finding a psychiatrist in Australia to treat a child under 18 is an almost impossible task. After being referred by our GP to a specific psychiatrist that is not accepting any new patients, I started to call every single psychiatrist in my city to check first if they see children under 18 and second if they have an available appointment in a decent period of time. When I called the practices, the secretaries always asked for the letter of referral under the doctor's name. My answer was always the same; "If you are so kind to let me know if there is an available appointment, I can get the letter addressed to the specialist. However, I can send you the one I have under the name of other specialists who cannot see my daughter, so the doctor understands the case." Almost every practice said ok by the phone, but after sending the letter through email, they email me back telling me that, unfortunately, they need the letter addressed to them. Like they do not understand, I can't ask my GP letters for the 30 Pschiatrsit on my list! It's very frustrating because they know how stretched the mental health system is, and this kind of requirement does not help parents. I understand the importance of this requirement once they have accepted to see a patient, but for requesting an appointment. They can easily read the letter with all the details of my daughter's case written by my GP and decided if they can take or not the patient. Now my question is...is that ok? Can practices be so indifferent with parents, knowing all the struggles we encounter in this journey of having a child with a mental health condition? Is this a legal requirement? I was reading something online and apparently is not. And if this is not, is someone regulating this? I'm so frustrated at this moment, and I want your thoughts about this. Article: https://medicalrepublic.com.au/referral-rules-everything-need-know/4252
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Hi Taylor-RO, Thank you very much for your answer. Finally my daughter doesn't want to engage in online school and we are seeking a change of school. She wants to go to a "normal" school and we think is the best, she needs to connect with people. As her mum I can be the friend who is always going to be there for her, but she needs real friends of her own age. We know she needs to keep doing therapy and probably had medication for treating her depression, but her willingness to start fresh in a new school is giving us a lot of hope. :)
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Hi, I am new to the forum; my first language is not English, so I excuse in advance if sometimes my words don’t make much sense grammatically. I have a 15yrs old daughter who is dealing with anxiety since 2020, and with depression early this year, she engages in self-harm too. Before 2020, She had always been a happy and friendly girl. Good at school, at sports and with a good group of friends, very sociable, with a bit of a challenging personality at home, but nothing serious or uncommon of teenage years. Sometimes a bit anxious, but nothing until she started y7, and during y9, her anxiety started to show up, with a couple of sort of panic attacks and two episodes of self-harm. We tried to find help, but she was constantly dropping therapy for any kind of reason; because school or she felt that therapy was not working. We even tried hypnosis therapy, and I think it is the only thing that helped at the moment, on october last year. However, between Dec 2020 and January 2021 she started to go down in moods and going into isolation in her room, at the beginning talking chatting with friends, but later just by herself. And because today teens engage a lot in online relationships more than face to face, we thought it was a stage in her life, and because it was school holidays too, we didn’t want to make a big deal about her being for a long time in bed. But for moments, she was having a lot of anger with her sister and us. And I started to feel something wasn’t right. Finally, one night she told us she was feeling terrible, and most of the times, could not stand up from bed. 2 weeks before classes started, we started therapy again because she asked to be helped. When school finally started, she refused to go the first week, we manage to make her go after with the help of the school psychologist, but after that, she was all the time dropping and telling me that she didn't want to be at there anymore, that she didint not have friends anymore and that she hated the school. With the School (it’s a private one) we develop a plan so she can go back, but nothing worked. I don’t think there is bullying involved, but I suspect there are boys involved and friendships broken, and poor self-esteem that doesn't allow her to get over deception, and hers anxiety about what people thinks about her. The last day we tried to make her attend school, she self-harmed. Well, long short story, this Y10 she has not been at school much, almost hasn’t done any tests. However, school accepted to give some test outside school hours, and preparing for tests was something she enjoyed because was keeping her busy. It’s sad because she talks about having a carrier and doing ATAR next year.
At the beginning of this year (that feels like 10 years because we are emotionally exhausted as parents), we were honestly worried about her future and school. We do not anymore; we want her to find the inner strength to come from where she is. We support her with all the challenges that come with that, and we accepted them as her parents with hope.
Now I know she is not going back to school. However, schoolwork keeps her moving and entertaining, with a sense of purpose, and I know that's important for her. We tried to enrol her in a special school for kids disengaged from the system. Unfortunately, she is on a long waiting list. And the public school in our catchment area is out of the discussion because her therapist told us she guaranteed it would be too much for her. So now I’m looking to get advice from anyone who knows about how to do online high school in WA and how its works. I hope someone can help.
That was a long introduction. Thanks for reading and share all your knowledge.
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