‘DAMO’S LAW’ PETITION: SAVING OUR LOVED ONES FROM SUICIDE! Please sign ‘Damo’s Law’ petition to introduce a new mental health law named ‘Damo’s Law’ that will immediately support our loved ones at ‘risk of suicide.’ ‘Damo’s Law’ will be initiated when a person with a mental health issue, their family members, carers or advocates are not satisfied with decisions made by the responding mental health staff, and they still believe that the person’s life is in imminent danger. By evoking ‘Damo’s Law,’ an unbiased clinical assessment escalation process will begin, and the person at risk, and/or their family members, advocates and carers will be seen within 24 hours of a complaint being lodged.
‘Damo’s Law’ has been created by Tessa Sarich, in response to the tragic death of Damian Sarich who lived with paranoid schizophrenia, and died by suicide on December 5th, 2016. Prior to Damian’s death in Maryborough Qld, he had attempted suicide approximately 30 times in 5 years, and reported numerous times to his family, that he was feeling less and less heard, and cared for within the mental health system. Toward the end of his life, he stated that “he didn’t think that they worried about him anymore.” Damian’s family members tried desperately to get him the help that he needed to save his life. Unfortunately, the family felt that their desperate pleas for help fell on deaf ears, and Damian is no longer with us.
We are now asking for The Department of Health to make a commitment to introduce an escalation process that enables a person with a mental health condition, their family, carer or advocate to bring in a non-biased third party to provide a clinical review within a 24 hour period after the complaint, to revaluate the seriousness of the situation and minimise the possibility of another person dying by suicide. We are requesting that ‘Damo’s Laws’ be evoked when the following situation is unfolding:
1. A person with an escalating mental health condition, their family member/s, carer’s or an advocate is not satisfied with the decision of the attending community mental health emergency team, or the decisions of the general practitioners, and mental health doctors and nurses. 2. A person with an escalating mental health condition, their family member/s, carer’s, an advocate is fearing that the person is at risk of dying by suicide if they are not admitted to hospital for their own safety, and/or are stating that they may hurt another person.
We envision that once the ‘Damo’s Law’ rule is enacted, a full clinical review of the person living with a mental health condition, and the treatment they are receiving be undertaken within 24 hours.
Here is Damo’s story.... My name is Damian Sarich (Damo). I was born on May 14th, 1984. I died sadly died by SUICIDE. I HUNG myself December 5th 2016. My mum found me. I was 32 years old.
I was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, and I suffered for 5 years with the demons inside my head... I thought people were going to kill me on a daily basis... I even thought my own family was going to kill sometimes... I just wanted it to stop... I wanted to kill myself before they tortured me. MENTAL HEALTH QLD AUSTRALIA LET ME DIE. Community Mental Health had seen me regularly. I had about 30 attempts at suicide with my mental state of mind. I was in and out of the wards. It was needles, pills, more needles, and more pills. I don’t think they worried about me anymore. At the time of my death I had been off my medication for a while as I was trying to stabilise. I had gone away for 2 months, but I was not doing so well. I was not with reality. Things happened and I was no longer with reality at all. I had 2 visits with the Community Mental Health workers in the couple of weeks I stayed with my sister. I told the workers I was going to kill myself. I told my sister I was going to kill myself. I was not with reality, to the point I thought I had not seen my sister in 10 years. It had only be 8 weeks. Community Mental Health walked away and left me there twice. My mum returned from hospital so I went to be with my mum. My mum rang and tried to get me admitted in the last 5 days I was here on earth, but Community Mental Health was still not listening. I think my family members would know me a lot better than them, but they weren’t listened to. Community Mental Health only came to give me more pills or needles. You didn’t actually care that I was lost, broken, torn, confused, scared, or alone. My mind shredded into millions of fears all coming at me at once and I couldn’t stop them. The thoughts were telling me how they’re going to torture me and how they will kill me. I didn’t want to be here anymore. Make them stop! Why won’t you make them stop Mental Health? Why won’t you help me? Why do you think it’s just in my head? Why is it not real? It’s as real to me as my coffin was to you. Now do you see how real it was? Now do you see I couldn’t stop it? I needed to be kept safe. I needed to leave before they hurt me. I told you I was going to 'KILL MYSELF' and you let me. You knew I wasn’t OK but you walked away anyway because I’m not your son, brother, dad, daughter, or sister so you didn’t care if I DIED. One less case for you to worry about. Well guess what? I DID DIE. I HUNG myself where my mum was left to find me lifeless. You could have prevented this from happening if you had just listened to my family! You didn’t listen to me because of my mental state of mind. Even in those last 5 days, if you had listened to my family, I could possibly still be ALIVE as I would have been kept safe where I couldn’t hurt myself. Why didn’t you listen?
Will you listen now that I’m gone? Please help save our loved ones....
Hi, my name is Tessa Sarich. I am Damian’s sister. Please sign our petition to help bring in a new law that helps prevent the loss of our loved ones. Please get behind my family and me, and help us to create ‘Damo’s Law,’ to protect our family members who are at risk of suicide, so that Damian’s death is not in vain. Your support would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for your support. Tessa Sarich and family.
The SEMPI SCM teaches THE NEXT STEP to the 'ARE YOU OK?' question, if this question feels too hard to sit with, feels confusing, or just doesn't feel right for the person saying 'NO.'
• The SEMPI SCM teaches community members, deeper level empathetic conversation skills, (in under 20 minutes), to instigate when someone is NOT OK and needs to talk straightaway. • The SEMPI SCM is written to teach community empowerment, reduce stigma and loneliness, and to save lives.
• This SEMPI SCM has a ‘pay it forward' philosophy, so that is can get out into the community faster.
• The SEMPI SCM works by having two people sit together, (a Listener, and a Sharer). The 'Sharer' asks the 'Listener' to run through the SEMPI SCM with them, and together they can speak about exactly what is happening in the 'Sharers' life, for them right now, then they can swap roles, and pay it forward! • The SEMPI SCM teaches 'Social and Emotional Learning' activities (SEL). • The SEMPI SCM promotes a broader 'needs' and personal insight vocabulary. • The SEMPI SCM strengthens the skills of communication, so that all parties feel heard, validated, and understood, while teaching practical listening skills, which are crucial to allowing community members to feel truly heard. Learning these skills may lead to a more equal social class power balance, while CROSSING RACE, CREED, AGE, COLOUR AND RELIGION. • The 'SSCM' gives an immediate snapshot into a persons mental and physical health, right at that moment, so that a concise, and accurate plan can be devised if needed, by the 'Listener' and the 'Sharer', and then shared with a health care professional, when necessary. • The 'SEMPI SCM,' is designed to stop the loneliness, silence, stigma, and isolation, that exists within our communities AND CAN BE USED intergenerationally! • The SEMPI SCM is helping to create a world where people do not simply survive, but engage in a way that works to achieve invigorating internal and interpersonal satisfaction. • The SEMPI SCM is currently being used within community to allow all members, no matter their story, to learn to have an empowered voice, while gaining insight into their own story. • PLEASE NOTE, THE SEMPI SCM IS NOT a counselling model. • The SEMPI SCM community model version is FREE FOR EVERYONE! • Please go to www.sempi.net for more information to help others, @AlyseTobler
Need Help in Australia? • Suicide Awareness 1-800-273-8255 • The Exodus Foundation (02) 8752 4600 • The Wayside Chapel (02) 9581 9100 • Lifeline Counselling 13 11 14 • Family drug support 1300 368 186 • Alcohol and drug information (ADIS) 1800 422 599 • AIDS HIV Information service 1800 063 060 • Hepatitis C Information and support 1800 803 990 • Nar Anon (02) 9418 8728 • Narcotics Anonymous 1300 652 820 • Cannibas Information and help line 1800 304 050 • NSW Users and Aids Association 1800 653 203 • Parent Line 13 20 55 • Ted Noffs foundation 1800 151 045 • Housing NSW Head office (02) 8753 8000 • Domestic violence 24 hour line 1800 737 732 • Mental Health Hotline 1800011511 • Women's and girls’ emergency centre- 9360 5388 • Emergency Youth accommodation: (02) 9267 5918 • Hope hostel Parramatta (men only) : 9683 1630s • Kendal house Parramatta( men only) : 9891 5234 • Lifeline 13 11 14 • Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia [PANDA] 1300 726 306 • Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 • One Door Mental Health - 1800 843 539 https://www.onedoor.org.au • DoCS Helpline - 132 111 • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline - 1800 200 526 • Healthdirect Australia - 1800 022 222 • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 • Lifeline - 131 114 • NSW Rape Crisis Centre - 02 9819 7357 24/7 Counselling 1800 424 017 • Surgery Access Line - 1800 053 456 • Victims Support Line - 1800 633 063 • Youth line - 02 9633 3666 • Alcohol and Drug Information Service Sydney 02 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599. • NSW Poisons Information Centre 131 126. • Public Health Units • Methadone Advice and Conciliation Service (MACS) 1800 642 428 • Matthew Talbot Hostel (02) 9358 8102 • Crisis Accommodation for Women LINK 2 HOME: 1800 152 152 • St Jude's: Bankstown(men only) : 9796 8416 • A woman's place Phone: (02) 9358 6222 • City Woman's hostel Phone: (02) 9360 4881 • Lou’s Place for women. Potts Point (02) 9358 4553 • CANA Community firstname.lastname@example.org