Taranaki psychiatrist's outburst at mental health patient caught on video

Shocking video appears to show a doctor losing her temper at a patient in a mental health ward.

The patient was admitted for mental health care to Taranaki Base Hospital after a suicide attempt in January 2017.

However she told Newshub the experience was extremely distressing.

She put together a vlog of her experience and describes being left in a waiting room for three hours, before being told she would have to wait up to another six hours before being assessed.

After finding this out the patient says she lost her temper and admits she said things to staff she probably shouldn't have.

She was then visited by a doctor as part of her assessment, although the patient says she was not told what the visit was for.

During the assessment the doctor loudly discussed her belief the patient was not mentally ill and her problems were down to behavioural issues.

The patient describes feeling she was being talked "at" rather than "to".

"I don't think you want to kill yourself; you just don't know how to cope with what life's about, 'cause you haven't grown up yet," she allegedly said.

"I don't think this is the best place for you because this never helps people like you because you're not mentally ill; you're just atrociously behaved."

The patient said the incident was distressing and afterwards she was unable to trust the DHB or care she received.

"When she said that from then on I knew she wasn't going to help me," the patient told Newshub.

She said she felt like she was being judged.

While she considered laying a complaint she says she finds the process of writing down everything that happened to her distressing.

When contacted by Newshub, Taranaki DHB said the video only shows one part of the patient's care, and that mental health patients often have complex needs.

"It is not Taranaki DHB's policy to discuss an individual's patient records publicly. In the best interests of [the patient's] health we would prefer to discuss her concerns with her directly," said Dr Sherat Shetty, Clinical Director of Mental Health and Addictions for Taranaki DHB.

"Not all patients have mental illness. During the admission consultants discuss the diagnosis and prognosis of the patient.

"A core question arising at the beginning of treatment is what consultants should tell patients regarding their diagnosis."

The DHB confirmed that the doctor is no longer working for them.

Where to find help and support:

  • Lifeline  0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline  0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Healthline  0800 611 116
  • Samaritans  0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Mental Health Foundation