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Tragic story about how a mother in Sydney asked nine times for help on the day she committed suicide

“She didn’t want to die”: Suicidal mother called NINE help on the day she committed suicide – and the shocking reason they were all not answered

  • Tammy Peters from Sydney tried to get help before she started her own life last May
  • Grade Sutherland Hospital’s mental health care acute care nine times before
  • Had been at the Prince of Wales Hospital days earlier, who said it couldn’t help
  • Family believes Tammy would still be alive if her call for help had been answered
  • Area health research investigated processes for ‘system improvement’

A suicidal mother pleaded repeatedly and desperately with the health services for help on the day she committed suicide.

Tammy Peters, 45, was at the breaking point when she called the Sutherland Hospital mental health team nine times last May, just three weeks after she was first hospitalized after a suicide attempt.

But her calls to the 24-7 hotline number remained unanswered and – unable to get the help she desperately needed – took her life hours later.

Ten months later, Mrs. Peters’ grieving family still demands answers.

Sydney mother Tammy Peters (photo) tried to get help before she took her own life

Sydney mother Tammy Peters (photo) tried to get help before she took her own life

Her aunt Kelly Brennan also attempted to have Mrs. Peters admitted to the hospital after she awoke with a frantic message from her cousin that she needed help.

Mrs. Brennan called the Prince of Wales Hospital, where her cousin had been fired three days earlier after trying to rob her life.

But she was told that Peters should go to her local hospital, Sutherland instead, which did not answer her cousin’s calls.

Mrs. Brennan believes that her cousin would still live today if she had been taken to one of the hospitals that fateful day.

“It would be easier to handle Tammy’s death if she had just given up,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“But knowing she didn’t want to die … knowing that she was trying so hard to get help and didn’t get it, is just devastating.”

Mrs. Peters had called the 24-7 hotline for the acute care team at Sutherland Hospital nine times but could not get through

Mrs. Peters had called the 24-7 hotline for the acute care team at Sutherland Hospital (photo) nine times but could not get through

Mrs. Peters had called the 24-7 hotline for the acute care team at Sutherland Hospital nine times but could not get through

Mrs. Peters left behind a teenage daughter Bree, 14, who described her mother as the life of the party with a generous and caring heart.

“My mother’s final [pleas] for help on the day she ended her life, the hospitals did not answer them and she felt she had no other option, “Bree said.

Mrs. Peters had been in regular contact with mental health care in the months prior to her death.

But her case was complicated by the severe headache that she suffered after receiving electroconvulsive therapy in a private clinic.

It caused doctors who treated Mrs. Peters to be confused as to whether her headache should be treated as chronic pain or as part of her psychiatric condition.

Mrs. Peters' broken heart is still looking for answers 10 months later (stock image)

Mrs. Peters' broken heart is still looking for answers 10 months later (stock image)

Mrs. Peters’ broken heart is still looking for answers 10 months later (stock image)

According to an internal investigation into the local health district in South East Sydney, Peters told Sutherland Hospital that she had to be admitted because of her headache.

Although the report said “refused thoughts about self-harm and suicidal thoughts,” Brennan believes her cousin would have told them she was suicidal and needed help.

Daily Mail Australia contacted both hospitals for comment, along with South Eastern Sydney’s Local Health District, which expressed its deepest condolences to Mrs. Peters’ family.

“SESLHD is concerned about this incident and senior clinicians have been in contact with the family to discuss their concerns and provide support,” a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

“The tragic death of Ms. Peters was the subject of an internal investigation, and the district’s mental health service reviewed processes to identify opportunities identified for system improvement.”

For confidential support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Kids Help Line on 1800 551 800.

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