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Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Personal story:

Katerina Kouselas

Katerina Kouselas’s husband, Bill, died by suicide in 2016, and she believes that the mental health system failed him:

Bill had depression for nine to 10 years prior to his death, but we had no experience of the mental health system until the six months before he died.

Katerina described how Bill had been receiving treatment at an adult prevention and recovery care service but that he really struggled when he was released. Before his death, Katerina took him to an emergency department:

In all our years of marriage I had never seen him like that. People who are suicidal should not be in emergency with all the people with broken legs, you should be in a specialised area.

Katerina described the loss of her husband as isolating, but she said that by contributing to the Royal Commission she hopes to make a difference for someone else in the future.

We had been married for 32 years when Bill passed away. I will never come to terms with it …

I just hope that by talking about Bill, and by talking about suicide, it might help even just one other person. I hope that it helps to fix the system that let Bill down, a system that is letting other people down too.

Source: Interim Report, November 2019