Mental health: referring a complaint to the advocacy process for support

A woman complained to HDC about the lack of adequate mental health support she was receiving from her DHB’s mental health service. She was concerned that despite suffering a range of mental health symptoms, she had never received a definitive diagnosis and could not access community support services.

HDC considered the woman’s complaint carefully and discussed resolution options with her over the telephone. With her agreement, HDC referred her complaint to the Advocacy Service for resolution.

An advocate supported the consumer to define her issues and focus on resolution outcomes that were achievable. Advice was given about seeking community support with mental health advocacy and peer support services, of which the woman had previously been unaware. A response was sought from the provider, which addressed her concerns around the care she had received, and also provided suggestions for alternative support and providers.

The advocate also helped the consumer to locate a copy of her Psychiatric Assessment Summary, which had been sent to her GP earlier in the year but she had never seen because she was no longer enrolled with the practice. The report helped the consumer to understand her diagnosis and recommended treatment plan.