The family of a young entertainer who took his own life after a long battle with mental health believe the’ system failed’ him after he was allowed to leave hospital eight hours after a suicide attempt.
Jamie Wood, 31, from Brisbane, died at his Bowen Hills apartment in September after a number of stints at rehabilitation clinics.
The passionate dancer, who performed alongside the likes of Ricki-Lee Coulter and on a Michael Jackson tribute tour, was remembered as being kind and generous to the thousands he left a mark on.
His devastated family believe the healthcare system wasn’t appropriately designed to handle cases like Jamie’s and are calling for a change in the way mental health patients are treated.
‘The system failed,’ his mother Lynn told the Courier Mail.
Jamie Wood, 31, committed suicide at his Bowen Hills apartment in September after a number of stints at rehabilitation clinics
His devastated family believe the healthcare system wasn’t appropriately designed to handle cases like Jamie’s and are calling for reform
The Wood family revealed Jamie once left self-inflicted injuries so bad after a suicide attempt that he required extensive surgery.
He was discharged just eight hours after being admitted and told to come back the following week for an operation.
‘They wrapped his arm up, made him stay for six to eight hours and then asked him to come back the following Friday for surgery,’ sister Samantha said.
‘How could you expect someone who wants to take their life to want to come back to have surgery? Jamie hated the hospital.’
His next attempt on his life would be his last.
They are now looking for answers from Queensland Health as to how someone with suicidal tendencies was allowed to leave hospital just hours after being admitted.
The Woods say Jamie was once discharged from hospital eight hours after a suicide attempt, with healthcare workers asking him to come back in the next week for surgery
The Woods say patients who are repeatedly treated for self-inflicted wounds should be red-flagged and have to meet with senior psychiatrists before they are released from clinics.
They also want people with mental disorders to have to spend a short amount of hospital after they have been admitted, with follow-up appointments and communication channels with family in place.
‘I think he would regret what he did if he knew how much pain we are all in,’ Samantha said.
The family contacted Queensland’s Assistant Shadow Minister for Mental Health who said they are looking to bring in the new measures and call them ‘Jamie’s Rule’.
‘It’s generally accepted that the rule applies across the entire health system and a lot of hospitals have information about it on the walls,’ Rob Molhoek told the Courier Mail.
‘It could apply loosely but it doesn’t sit clearly as a rule for people with mental health issues.
Jamie Wood (pictured) tragically died in September after a long battle with mental health
Mr Wood had recently started a barbering apprenticeship while working at Fluffy nightclub on Sundays.
‘The exact same night that he ended his life, he called my mum and was so excited about his new life and moving into his new apartment,’ Ms Wood told The Courier-Mail.
‘He had the whole place made up how he wanted it – very Zen – and he was just so excited to go on a new journey with his barbering.
‘That’s why it has come at such a shock that this has happened within hours of him having those conversations with my mum.’
Mr Wood had been open with his family about his mental health struggles for more than a decade and had contacted crisis helplines on several occasions but his phone calls were not returned.
He was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder earlier this year, after previously being admitted to hospital for mental-health related issues.
Ms Wood said she doesn’t think there was one traumatic experience that caused his mental illness and she believes her brother felt ‘very alone’.
Nicholas Wood said his brother was always there for everyone else, and despite having support, he had battles that he could not overcome.
He believes more could have been done to help his sibling, who was the ‘greatest brother you could ask for’.
Mr Wood had performed with Ricki-Lee and Michael Jackson and had just started a barbering apprenticeship