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Your views: on youth mental health services, population growth and picking crops for JobSeeker

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a mother’s struggle to help her teenage daughter, the impact of a rising population and a call for the unemployed to work on farms.

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Commenting on the story: ‘There’s just no help’: SA mother speaks out about gaps in the mental health system

There are so many parts of this story that I can relate to.

My son (17) was “unofficially” diagnosed with BPD earlier this year. I’ve been told the diagnosis can’t be official until he is 18 and that the treatment he requires also can’t be done until he is 18. He was a straight A student who now barely goes to school.

The next time, he actually got into Boylan but received little help as it was a long weekend and only skeleton staff were on. The second time he went in, after 1.5 days, they told me he was fine to go home, even though he was saying the minute he got home, he was going to harm himself. I turned around mid-drive home and took him back.

BPD just seems too hard for the Boylan Ward to cope with. – Name supplied

This is so sad, but very true. I’ve worked and been close to many families that can’t get the help they so desperately need for their young tweens.

There is no help for this age group and this is why we have so many runaways and missing teens. Then they get lost in the system and either locked up for crime that could have been prevented and hooked on drugs. We as a state are not making the changes that need to happen for our young people.

I’ve had personal experience as well with my own son and then the education system also lets them down as we get told there is not enough funding. Same old story. I wish  your daughter and yourself my best wishes and know you are not alone in this fight for better services for our kids. – Name supplied

I feel for your daughter. And yourself. I’m 45 and suffer BPD but have no one around to support and fight for me.

I self-harm, I harbour suicidal thoughts daily and have had a few admissions into the system only to be doing well and getting thrown straight back into life when clearly not ready.

I hope your daughter gets the help she needs. – Name supplied

I trust that readers are not just focussed on the fact that a young girl lashed out with scissors (and that the story adds to the incorrect perception that all people with BPD are violent, unpredictable or unstable) but that we enquire deeper – what was beneath her frustration? How are we shaping the environment for her to get her need for treatment met? Was a referral made to our state-wide BPD service before she was to be discharged? 

BPD Awareness Week launches on 1st Octobert. We aim to dispel stigma and outdated myths that BPD is untreatable. With early intervention, and appropriate evidence-based therapies, recovery is possible. This year’s campaign is ‘Flipping the Script: Changing the Narrative on BPD’ where we aim to change the way we think and talk (and report in the media) about borderline personality disorder.  

I invite you to look at the breadth of face-to-face and online events in the BPD Awareness Week Conference. There is something for everyone – people with lived experience of borderline personality disorder, carers/families, clinicians – and even your pets! – Karen Bailey

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Commenting on the story: Dire warning on COVID hit to SA’s population growth

We’ve got not just a warning but a ‘dire’ one that SA’s population growth is not enough. Who could ever have imagined a migration agent might say something like that?

Let’s get this in perspective: a 1% increase in SA’s population in the 12 months to the end of March is well above that of many OECD countries. The growth rate for the US and the UK is 0.6%, while for our near neighbour Indonesia it is 0.5%.

Amongst many problems, population growth brings us urban sprawl, encroachment on agricultural land, traffic snarls, clearing of native vegetation, shortage of jobs, zoning around schools, ambulance ramping and an infrastructure backlog which cannot be addressed.

While it’s there are a few who gain a benefit from increasing population, the rest of us underwrite it.

COVID-19 might well be a blessing in disguise if it forces governments and economists to look at realistic indicators of progress. – Sandra Kanck

Commenting on the story: Force unemployed to pick crops to get Centrelink JobSeeker: Liberal MP

My 21-year-old son applied for a fruit picking job three weeks ago, and was turned away because he wasn’t a 457 Visa holder.

They don’t want to hire regular Australians because they would have to pay them minimum wage, where they used to pay backpackers less. Forcing people on government assistance to do the work is ridiculous too.

Maybe it’s time there was a review of wages and working conditions on the farms – and while I’m dreaming maybe farmers could get paid a fair price by the retailers for their product. – Catherine Davenport

I agree with the proposal in theory, but instead of forcing, it should be voluntary. We do not need government to have the power to force us to do anything we don’t want to or have to do. – Brent Miller

I’m all for it, I could think of nothing better than to be outside doing something instead of being stuck at home all the time.

How do I get there and where will I sleep. – John Kaddatz

If you’ve been unemployed for over one year and you have good health then yes, you should pick fruit and veg in the current situation. – Danny O’Brien

Sounds ok, but is there going to be food, accommodation, laundry facilities etc provided for these workers?

How many might have addictions, medical issues, family concerns? If you are providing decent accommodation, who is going to do the cleaning and provide clean linen for hygiene?  You might have, say, 50 workers, who need three meals a day. Will there be proper self serve kitchens etc, then you need qualified chefs, kitchen hands for support services and food handling certification.

Give it a go, you won’t know if you don’t try. Take notes from FIFO workers. – Ian Callaghan

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