Mathew Luttrell Coronial Inquests recommends culturally-specific mental health services

The family of Mathew Luttrell welcome the Coroner’s recommendations to improve mental health services in Mildura and ensure that they are culturally appropriate. The family hope that the recommendations are implemented without delay.

Mathew was a proud Yorta Yorta man and a father who loved his children and his partner. He was a hard worker and a Carlton Blues supporter.

Mathew Luttrell died by suicide in late 2018. He had attended the Mildura Base Hospital voluntarily the day before his death to get help and treatment.

The Coroner found that Mathew’s death was preventable as at the date of his death, and that Mildura Base Hospital had breached his human rights and failed to provide care to him in a way that afforded him with cultural safety, dignity and respect.

The Coroner made a range of recommendations to ensure Mildura Base Hospital is able to provide access to culturally appropriate care, including cultural awareness and human rights training and greater engagement and consultation with its own Aboriginal staff and local Aboriginal organisations. The Coroner also made recommendations regarding policies and procedures for treating patients that have mental health issues.

VALS represented the family of Mathew Luttrell at the Inquest.

Statement by Aidan Luttrell on behalf of the family of Mathew Luttrell:

“My dad was a proud Yorta Yorta man and a loving father and partner to my Mum. We still miss him, particularly at family gatherings or when we are watching Carlton play.”

“Dad should not have died, he should have received the healthcare he needed. We always knew that, and we are glad that the Coroner agrees.”

“This has been a very long and tough process, but we hope that it will be worth it. We hope that the Hospital will implement the Coroner’s recommendations so that other families don’t have to go through this.”

“Aboriginal people deserve access to culturally appropriate care.”

Quotes Attributable to Nerita Waight, CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service:

“VALS is proud to have supported the family of Mathew Luttrell in their journey for justice. Mathew deserved the healthcare he needed, instead his human rights were breached and he did not get the cultural supports he should have.”

“So many of our people are denied access to culturally appropriate and culturally safe services. We need governments to listen to our voices and fund the services our people need. We need organisations like the Mildura Base Hospital to take our human rights seriously”.

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