New adult mental health facility opens at St Vincent’s
SURRY Hills resident Travis King wishes there had been a facility such as the new Young Adult Mental Health Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital available when he was in the depths of depression and anxiety.
The 23-year-old – who spoke at the launch of the new facility last week – said he first noticed his illness four years ago when he was on his gap year in the UK.
Initially he put his symptoms down to homesickness, but the feelings didn’t go away when he came home.
“For about year I had no idea what was going on,” he said.
“It affected me quite a bit and when I was finally diagnosed, finding the right medication made it even tougher.”
But Mr King persisted and is now on the right track.
He completed a solar energy engineering degree and has a job, but he still has rough days.
“I’m not at 100 per cent functionality yet, but I’m functioning better than I have over the last four years,” he said.
“I hope that one day mental illnesses are viewed … in the same way that physical illnesses like diabetes are.”
St Vincent’s director of Mental Health Dr Peter McGeorge, agreed.
“With this facility, there’s an emphasis on youth,” he said. “If mental illnesses go untreated it can lead to severe disabilities, and we’re hoping we can minimise that as much as possible with this facility.”