Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Tears for Son Still in Mental Health Ward

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Tears for Son Still in Mental Health Ward

Article excerpt

Byline: SCOTT SAWYER

IT'S been nine long months for a Coast family trying to free their son from the mental health ward at Nambour General Hospital.

The 23-year-old, who was admitted in April last year, has an acquired brain injury from a car accident in 2011 but as there is insufficient space for him in supervised care, the young man has been forced to reside in the hospital's mental health ward.

He manages to spend just a few hours a day with his family before being returned to the facility.

In November, it was reported that his accommodation in the hospital cost about $800 a day and the difference between him being in the ward or living in the broader community under supervision was only about an extra $8000 a year.

It's been a gut-wrenching time for the man's family.

His mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, spoke about the challenges faced by her son and the rest of the family over the past nine months.

"It is frustrating because the biggest thing is I want to get him into somewhere to see how he takes to it," she said.

The toughest part was not being able to find out whether her son can transition smoothly into supervised care.

"My biggest thing is to get him into a house where he's safe, other people are safe and he could start to look for a job he could possibly do," she said. "He needs the care but the money isn't there."

Last month, the family's Nambour-based solicitor Peter Boyce told the Daily of the frustrations for the young man, who he said could be working even as a trolley boy under supervision, for example.

The man's mother said work was something he spoke about often, and she managed to open up a little on the effects the injury had on her son, before her emotions got the better of her.

"It's his personality that's changed," she said.

"He has a bit of an inability to read social situations. …

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