Coroner told teen suicide victim Michaela Mundy had waited more than a year to see a psychiatrist — (ABC Australia)

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ABC Australia


 A coroner has been told a teenager with depression who killed herself had been on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist for more than a year.

Michaela Jayne Mundy, 15, died at her home in July last year.

She took her life while her mother and stepfather were out shopping.

An inquest in Adelaide has been told Miss Mundy’s mother saw signs of depression in 2010, when the girl was lethargic and had lost her appetite.

In June 2011, the Seymour College student was put on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist after having her mental health assessed as at low to moderate risk by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Counsel Assisting the Coroner, Naomi Kereru, told the court the teenager was removed from boarding at the school after just a week because she had cut herself during a weekend visit to her mother’s house.

Miss Mundy was assessed by a GP who then recommended a psychotherapist.

That practitioner had retired, so the girl’s mother found another doctor, Dr Jason Garrood, via the Beyond Blue website.

Mistaken assumption

Ms Kereru told the inquest Dr Garrood formed a mistaken impression the teenager already had seen a psychiatrist and prescribed the girl a common antidepressant.

The hearing was told Miss Mundy’s dosage was halved after she fainted.

But days before her death, the teenager saw Dr Garrood and asked that the dosage be increased because the drugs had not been to blame for her fainting.

Ms Kereru said Miss Mundy had spoken of suicidal thoughts but Dr Garrood was reassured by her request for an increased dosage, taking it as a sign the girl had plans for the future.

He had planned to reassess her.

The inquest was told an expert psychiatrist would give evidence Miss Mundy’s dosage of antidepressants should never been halved, that she should have been better assessed and possibly sent to hospital after she expressed suicidal thoughts and that the teenager’s depression required the intervention of a psychiatrist, which never happened.

Coroner Mark Johns is expected to hear evidence from staff of Seymour College, Dr Garrood and other practitioners who had contact with Miss Mundy, as well as the director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.