21 Jun 2021

Mental health inquiry responses yet to be seen - Robinson

From Checkpoint, 6:08 pm on 21 June 2021

The Mental Health Foundation believes a patient sleeping on a mattress on the lounge floor in an acute mental health unit does not pass the dignity test.

A 23-year-old woman admitted to Taranaki DHB's overcrowded mental health unit last week has told Checkpoint she felt dehumanised and unsafe when she was forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a lounge, because all the bedrooms were full.

She wants people to know the real state of the country's mental health system. The DHB says its 23-bed Te Puna Waiora Unit has averaged 99 percent this financial year and that means at times it is over capacity, so where appropriate, rooms may be shared or patients may be out in other areas like sensory rooms or lounges.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson told Checkpoint patients are among the most vulnerable people in the community and they deserve dignity.