Western Australia's lack of inpatient mental health services for children is under scrutiny after a 13-year-old girl was left on life support in a Perth hospital.
Meron Savage has told Nine News of the moment her daughter Kate stepped in front of traffic earlier this week, leaving her critically injured.
The family was preparing on Wednesday to switch off Kate's life support.
Ms Savage said her "severely suicidal" daughter had been engaged with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service but was not given the acute support she needed, despite having been admitted to hospital multiple times in recent months.
"There was nowhere, there is nowhere for suicidal teens her age," she said.
The only public inpatient beds for children under 16 are at Perth Children's Hospital, which has a 20-bed ward including 14 for acute patients.
It does not provide long-term acute care, instead offering brief intervention via a seven-day program designed to lead into further outpatient support.
Health Minister Roger Cook on Thursday said the inpatient program provided an opportunity for patients to stabilise and "get themselves on a better care pathway".
"When you're confronted with any issues around suicide, particularly youth suicide, it's incredibly sad," he said.
"We don't try to keep people in hospitals but for those for whom the mental health episode is acute, we do make sure that they can stay longer.
"We will continue as a government to commit ourselves daily to try to resolve the issues of mental health in our community, particularly youth mental health."
Acting mental health commissioner Jennifer McGrath said there were very few acute residential facilities for children anywhere in Australia.
"Usually the best place for children at that age is with their family," she said.
"What we do need is additional supports that provide for the family and the child after they leave hospital so they are cared for."
Mr Cook also announced a new $15 million suicide prevention package that includes further support for people who have made an attempt on their own life.
Almost $10 million will go towards developing region-by-region plans to address high rates of Aboriginal suicides.
National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project director Megan Krakouer said the commitment was nowhere near enough.
"There will be nothing for actual life-saving and changing stuff," she said.
"It is about time lives are prioritised."
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