Jayne Moore's son, Jake, died in July after he was hit by a car. She's disappointed there wasn't more mental health support available that was suitable for his age and situation. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Jayne Moore's son, Jake, died in July after he was hit by a car. She's disappointed there wasn't more mental health support available that was suitable for his age and situation. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Mum’s plea for answers, support, after son’s death

JAYNE Moore watched as her son, Jake, ate the last pancake, then she went off to bed.

She'd hoped to go to bed after him, to make sure he was off to sleep okay.

She was going to teach him to ride a moped the next morning, his first step to learning how to ride a motorbike.

But the "demons" that'd returned to torment her 21-year-old son had other plans.

"I didn't know he went for the walk," Jayne said.

Her son had drank some alcohol, which exacerbated his mental health struggles, then collected his sleeping bag, phone, a notepad and a few other possessions, and walked to Pioneer Park in Landsborough.

When Jayne woke the next morning she made a coffee and saw the news that a man had been struck by a car on Eumundi Kenilworth Road at Gheerulla, near their home.

She checked her son's granny flat and found it empty. Her partner told her to expect the worst, when he confirmed Jake hadn't come to work with him that morning.

 

Frantically ringing hospitals to find out whether he'd been admitted, her worst fears were confirmed in a conversation with PoliceLink staff, who told her officers would be at her home soon.

They confirmed her son had died in the early hours of July 17, after a passing motorist found him.

"He's done it (gone walking) before," Jayne said.

"It was the alcohol.

"I don't think (that he wanted to die)."

Jake first sought help with his mental health when he was still at school.

"To Jake, no one gave a f***," Jayne said.

The former Coolum Primary and Coolum State High School student had moved to Moy Pocket with his mother and her partner.

"He was trying real hard and he was battling with the demons," Jayne said.

"That was what he said, 'they're on my back'."

Around late-June Jayne said her son was placed in the psychiatric ward at Nambour Hospital, but was sent home the next day, as it wasn't suitable for him, with other more volatile patients in the ward.

"He wanted the help and he was willing to stay," she said.

"He wasn't a threat to anyone."

He'd been taken to hospital three times over the past four or so years in relation to mental health issues.

MOURNING: Jake Moore, 21, left, died after a tragic incident on a hinterland road and was found by motorists early Wednesday morning. He's pictured here with his sisters, Stephanie, right, and Rachel, centre.
MOURNING: Jake Moore, 21, left, died after a tragic incident on a hinterland road and was found by motorists early Wednesday morning. He's pictured here with his sisters, Stephanie, right, and Rachel, centre.

The talented guitarist didn't drink much, and Jayne said he'd set himself up with a psychiatrist appointment through Queensland Health prior to his death.

But the grieving mother said she thought there needed to be more support available to younger people like Jake, who weren't volatile, but still in need of help.

"There is nowhere for these guys to go when they're having like a mental breakdown," she said.

"He wanted to be here.

"He needed to be on a psych wing with people his own age, so he could be properly assessed and on the right medications."

Making the grieving process tougher was the fact Jayne and her family still had no answers about what happened in the last moments of Jake's life.

Jayne said they weren't sure whether Jake had been lying in a sleeping bag on or near the road, or walking along the side of the road when he was struck, and no driver has taken responsibility.

"I'd like them to come forward and just say what happened," she said.

"We just don't know."

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Clinical Director Mental Health and Addiction Services, Dr Chris Lilley, said young adults were cared for within adult wards at Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Nambour General Hospital.

A dedicated acute mental health inpatient unit was also available for people aged 13-18 at SCUH, while additional services were provided through the Child and Youth Mental Service.

Dr Lilley said where they may be concerns with the volatility of a patient, they could be nursed in a more secure environment at both SCUH and Nambour.

TRIBUTES: Tributes are flowing for Moy Pocket resident Jake Moore, 21, who died on Wednesday morning.
TRIBUTES: Tributes are flowing for Moy Pocket resident Jake Moore, 21, who died on Wednesday morning.

"Frequent assessment of risks are made for all our patients, and if these highlight concerns they are appropriately addressed," he said.

"For some this will lead to more intensive care, and for others it may lead to less."

Dr Lilley said safety measures in place included regular risk assessments, family and carer engagement, security personnel and a modified physical environment.

"Our mental health units have general adult wards and mental health intensive care units," Dr Lilley said.

"More unsettled consumers are managed in the latter where appropriate. NGH and SCUH

have both options available, and this is consistent with contemporary design of mental health units."

At present there were 24 adult beds and four ICU beds in both Nambour and SCUH psych wards, while there were 12 older persons beds and six adolescent beds at SCUH.

There were 350 clinicians in the public system locally, which also had a 35-bed residential rehabilitation facility at Mountain Creek.

Dr Lilley said there were a range of after-hours services available too, including 24-hour hotlines and round-the-clock clinicians based in emergency departments.