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Calls for changes to WA’s mental health system after tragic triple stabbing

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Calls for changes to WA’s mental health system after tragic triple stabbing

There are growing calls for WA’s struggling mental health system to be overhauled after a schizophrenic teenager stabbed his mother, sister and brother to death.

Yesterday, Teancum Vernon Petersen-Crofts was found not guilty of all three murders – because he was of unsound mind, and believed different gods were commanding him to kill them.

Chief Justice Peter Quinlan said the mental health system had “failed” him because he “never received adequate or sustained anti-psychotic treatment”.

Speaking to 6PR’s Liam Bartlett this morning, AMA WA Emergency Medicine spokesperson, Dr David Mountain, said there are major holes in WA’s mental health system that need to be fixed.

“We have a very poorly organised and poorly coordinated system, and unfortunately people drop through the cracks,” he said.

Mr Petersen-Crofts was taken to a hospital emergency department by police under the mental health act the night before the tragedy, but was released hours later.

“It’s not good if you are medically unwell, but for somebody with psychiatrics illness, an Emergency Department is truly a form of torture,” Dr Mountain said.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: Nine News Perth.)

Liam Bartlett
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