Public hearing begins into adolescent centre closure

FORMER health minister Lawrence Springborg, hospital and health services, the Queensland Government, doctors and nurses are some people who will be legally represented as part of an inquiry into the closure of a mental health service for adolescents.

The first public hearing as part of the Commission of Inquiry into the closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre at Wacol was held this morning when a brief overview was given about the elements under investigation.

Three teenagers, Talieha Nebauer, 17, and Will Fowell and Caitlin Wilkinson-Whiticker, both 18, were patients at the centre and took their own lives after it closed.

Commissioner Margaret Wilson said the inquiry would examine the factors which led to the centre's closure, which was announced on August 6 2013, the transitioning of patients to other facilities and adequacy of care, among other things.

"The Barrett Adolescent Centre provided intensive mental health services to young people with severe and complex mental illness," Commissioner Wilson said.

"Tragically after it closed three of the young people who had been under its care took their own lives."

She said public hearings, when evidence will be heard, would start in November and continue for about four weeks.

Commissioner Wilson said she was required to report to the Premier by January 14 next year.

*People seeking support and information can contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 and MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.


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