ACTION : The death of Melina Cuttler in 2013 has helped prompt the introduction of new training procedures for emergency department staff.
ACTION : The death of Melina Cuttler in 2013 has helped prompt the introduction of new training procedures for emergency department staff. Contributed

Ipswich woman's death prompts new suicide training

THE Queensland Mental Health Commissioner has welcomed new training for hospital emergency department staff to help identify and assist people at risk of suicide.

A new training initiative, announced by the Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick, will be rolled out across the state during the next 12 months.

The initiative follows a scathing report from the State Coroner on events that led to the death of Ipswich woman Melina Maree Cuttler after she attended Ipswich Hospital on February 12, 2013.

A three-day inquest into the death held in March heard family members took Ms Cuttler to the hospital over concerns for her deteriorating mental health, only for her to leave the hospital and fall from a crane on a nearby worksite less than five hours later.

In welcoming the new training initiative, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck said better trained and more aware emergency workers would help save lives.

"This is a positive initiative that will lead to better outcomes for the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders," Dr van Schoubroeck said.

"The right training about the right issues and delivered in a way that is accessible and taken up by staff is essential," she said.

"Customising training for emergency department staff is a great first step.

"One of the concerns I hear repeatedly is that families and people experiencing mental illness feel they are not listened to and are sent home from hospitals without support or their families being advised."

The Queensland Mental Health Commission is developing a new suicide prevention action plan.

Strengthening the capacity of the service system to improve the detection, assessment and appropriate management of people at risk of suicide has been identified as a priority.

Last year in Queensland, 627 people took their lives.

 



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