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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a hospital I can send my son to for mental health?

    My 16yr old son suffers from depression and anxiety, he has self harmed. We have seen a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist but to no avail, he lies to them and doesn't tell them everything.
    I think our only option is to send him to a hospital for help.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I am sorry to read about your son. As a client of both a psychologist and a psychiatrist, I think that it can take time to build trust with mental health professionals. Maybe it would help if you encouraged your son to “take his time” to build trust with the psychologist and  psychiatrist who he has been seeing?

    "he has self harmed"
    If by self-harm you mean that he has injured himself without suicidal intent you could let him know about this site: . It is a world-wide community which supports people who self-injure.

    Disclosure: I am one of its volunteer administrators.

  • 3



    Not sure where you live but the best place is South Pacific Private in Sydney. It is EXCELLENT for depression and anxiety

    f you have private health insurance it covers a huge protion of the costs. People come from all over Australia to this hospital. It is a wonderful,  healing place.

    Good luck

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.

  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It's really tough on famiies where a loved one is struggling with mental health difficulties. You are in the unenviable position of having to take a lot of responsiblity for caring for your son on a day to day basis, without having any say or involvement in how he is treated by health professionals. It sounds like you're really worried that your son may kill himself, or at least harm himself in a more serious way, and that a hospital admission may ensure this doesn't happen. It may be beneficial to talk about these concerns to your son's psychiatrist or psychologist - because of conficentiality they will not be able to talk to you about what is happening in treatment, but they will be able to hear about your concerns and use this information in the way they think will be most effective for your son.
    It's also really important that you get some support for yourself - there are some excellent resources around that are speciallly for family and friends of people with mental health issues.
    Depending on where you live - ARAFEMI (Association of Family and Friends of the Mentally Ill) has a range of support groups, information and counselling, They also run specific groups that support parents of a young person with mental illness. It's best you google ARAFEMI to find the one that is located in your area.
    Carers Australia (and there is a Carer service for each state) offer counselling for family members of someone with mental health issues. Counselling is completely free - up to six sessions - and you are linked to an accredited counsellor close to where you live, who has expertise and understanding about the effects of caring and what may help. Their number is  1800 242 636, or you can go to the website for more information -

    All the best.

  • 1


    Will Dobud

    Social Worker

    I aim to provide adventure therapy programs to adolescents that are transformational and progressive. With True North Expeditions, my aim is to offer a program … View Profile

    Hi there
    This must be a really stressful time. I think what Simon said was very true about his relationship with the psychologist and psychiatrist. Its not often talked about in therapy but the best thing is to find a therapist that your son can trust and build rapport with but also being a good therapy client. I agree that encouraging him is a great idea. Spending time and building relationship yourself with him can also help. 

    We run outdoor experiential therapeutic programs for adolescents dealing issues similar to your sons if you are interested in discussing some potential possibilities. We have found that it reduces some of the resistance adolescents have because it is a fun and engaging experience. It can be a great opportunity to get the ball rolling if it turns out to be a good fit for your son. Feel free to contact me directly if that is something you would like to consider: 

    Best of luck! 

  • Dr Nitsa Stylianou

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Specialist in Adult Anxiety and Depression View Profile

    There most certainly is hope for your son.  Please visit your GP and discuss your concerns.  They are well equipped to recommend the best hospital in area, as well as follow-up treatment.  It sounds like you are beginning to feel desperate and the best decision you can make is to follow your intuition to protect your son.  He is only 16 and relies on your best judgement.

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