Mum fights for changes after tragedy
THE MOTHER of a 16-year-old Lockyer Valley girl who took her own life has called for changes to the way hospitals treat mental health patients.
Amanda Hall believes her daughter Sharlie's death could have been prevented if she had been forced to stay at a southeast Queensland hospital, where she was taken following a long battle with drug addiction and self harm.
While living wither her mother at Blenheim in February 2016, Sharlie was admitted to Logan Hospital in the Mental Health Ward.
She was later showing signs of recovery, but everything changed on her 16th birthday.
She took a $50 note she was given for her birthday and disappeared, with her mother believing she had gone to buy drugs.
This began a downhill spiral of addiction for Sharlie.
On January 22, 2017, Sharlie had an argument with her mum that resulted in her swallowing any pills she could get her hands on.
While she was cleared of an overdose, a doctor transferred her to the Logan mental health ward.
Despite this, Ms Hall was told they "did not know how long they could keep her at the hospital as they did not have the resources".
She was discharged on January 24, just two days after her previous suicide attempt.
Three days later, Ms Hall was driving towards Gatton when she say her daughter, motionless, under a tree.
An autopsy would reveal Sharlie had high-range methamphetamine in her bloodstream. Ms Hall said her daughter should have been kept at the mental health ward as an involuntary patient.
"As parents, we weren't allowed to say what was best for her anymore," she said.
"She could have been saved. And maybe she still would have killed herself in six months' time, but in that moment, in that scenario, she wasn't in a right mind to make any decisions herself."
A coronial investigation into Sharlie's death is ongoing, Amanda is pushing for the coroner to open an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of her daughter.
"I want there to be the right teams treating these kids so they might see their 17th birthdays," she said.
A Queensland Health spokesman said an internal investigation was conducted in the wake of Sharlie's death, resulting in three recommendations being implemented. Those investigation and recommendations have been provided to the coroner to assist with their investigation.
Anyone needing help can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.