The Chief Psychiatrist was requested by the Minister for Mental Health to undertake a Review into the tragic death of Ms Kate Savage, age 13 years. The scope of this Review also considered any gaps in mental health service provision for this cohort of children.
Kate’s death cannot be rationalised. This was and is an unimaginable loss for Kate’s family.
The Review identified a huge surge in demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in recent years. CAMHS development has not kept pace, and this has placed significant pressure on clinical staff and the WA community. It is critical to provide mental health treatment services for young children, as well as for older adolescents – if we do not provide this early life care, we will condemn a generation to worsening mental health throughout their lives.
Seven recommendations have been made, which will facilitate improved care in the short term, and also, importantly, create steps to rebuild CAMHS.