Media Release Tuesday October 18, 2011
Mental Hospital blocked ‘Celebration Day’ visits
"Despite an official invitation to the Forensic Hospital Celebration Day at the start of Mental Health Month, seven visitors were refused access to the Hospital. This was despite the intervention of the head of a major consumer organisation personally to Justice Health Chief Executive Julie Babineau and a plea directly to the Clinical Director Dr Adrian Keller by the visitors. That open rejection of families and friends of patients waiting outside clearly shows the contemptuous culture of the organisation led from the top" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.
"Celebration Day is the only chance in the whole year for patients to introduce their familes to their friends inside and to share quality time in a social environment. It is a much anticipated event with shared food and music. Families know how important it is to those isolated in the hospital and sacrifice their day to be there. The justification of an entry cut off time that was not stated, is a typical abuse of power over patients and community alike" said Mr Collins.
"A visit to hospital by concerned friends and family is one of the most sacred gifts of caring. In a locked hospital where you can’t leave, it is even more important to ensure administrative accountability, reduce the isolation and get the patients well. Social support is intrinsic to their wellbeing and to the deinstitutionalisation model on which current mental health policies are based. We call for Minister Kevin Humphries to immediately intervene and establish a stated policy for the right of community access" said Mr Collins.
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