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Travails of a Teenager's Tryst with Mental Health Care

A distraught mother underwent sheer misery, caught between the devil and the deep sea, unable to help her suicidal anorexic daughter who was in dire need of emergency mental// healthcare. The patient, a 17 year old teenager was put on hold for a year, before any form of counseling was attempted.

The girl suffered acute eating disorder and she had a history of two suicide attempts. According to the mother, her daughter was at the receiving end of the crisis in the eating disorder services. As if to add salt to burning wounds, one of the three Wellington’s Eating Disorder Service has decided to close, due to paucity of funds.

The mother went on to explain that her daughter had been a target of sexual abuse, after which she suffered trauma, sleepless nights and acute depression that took a toll on her eating habits. Her weight had dropped, and it became evident that a psychiatrist's appointment was absolutely necessary. After repeated effort, the family turned lucky only the seventh time, when the girl was able to avail counseling from an ACC specialist counselor. Thereafter the girl’s health is showing promise.

This is an eye-opener, necessitating urgent improvements in mental health care. Thankfully, Capital and Coast District Health Board have realized that the community eating disorder services are wanting in many aspects.

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