A BENDIGO mother who is supporting her teenage daughter through a spiralling mental health condition is pleading for more youth treatment services in the region.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said her 18-year-old daughter's mental health deteriorated in the past year as a result of "brutal" bullying.
The teen started seeing a psychologist for an hour per week, but her condition worsened and she needed to be hospitalised after a suicide attempt.
The girl's mother said the situation was "heartbreaking".
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"You feel like a failure as a parent," she said. "You feel like you're not doing enough. Watching her go through it is torture. It's really difficult.
"It has an impact on work and life. You're always on high alert and waiting for something to happen. When the phone rings, you're always expecting the worse."
The woman said she knew her daughter's situation was not uncommon in the region.
While the teen was linked in with a mental health support service, the woman said the service's increasing case load meant her daughter only received limited sessions.
"All of the services that are provided to young people are at capacity," the woman said. "Their case load is huge, which is going to affect how they support young people.
"There's not enough funding to put into extra staff."
The woman said the mental health services also needed to be more accessible to the region's youth.
"My concern is that we're not protecting our young people," she said. "A lot of young people are not calling out for help because of that stigma.
"They're vulnerable with their age and limited life experience. They don't fully understand their mental health or what is going on.
"When they have no or limited support, that's when suicide comes into it. They feel like there's no other option and the struggle wears them down. We're not doing enough to protect them."
When asked about the capacity issues at Bendigo's youth mental health services, the state government noted it had provided $3.8 billion towards mental health and wellbeing in its 2021/2022 budget, with a focus on providing more community-based services in places like Bendigo.
The government also flagged that it had recently provided money to upgrade Bendigo Health's Bendigo Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Unit.
"The mental health and wellbeing of everyone, including young Victorians, has always been our priority," a health department spokesperson said.
"That's why we're building a new mental health and wellbeing system from the ground up.
"It will be a system that is responsive to people of all ages and populations with the greatest need, and one that provides mental health and wellbeing services that are safe, tailored and localised."
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