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Mental Illness Issues

Mental Illness Issues

Visiting Rights for Consumers

visiting rights

Visiting an incarcerated patient breaks down the social isolation of detainees by providing physical, mental, and emotional support. Maintaining adequate connections with the outside world is an essential right for any patient isolated with limited human contact. In practice, access to patients in the forensic hospital is all but denied. Our history of attempts describes the experience. Mental health patients are legally entitled to rehabilitative care and support, not punishment based treatment. Therefore to withhold visitation rights of a patient, which is an essential aspect of their social devolvement during the rehabilitative process, is an unethical infringement upon patient’s rights. When compared with prisoners, qualification as a mental health patient entitles one to a different standard level of care. It is not only important for the patient, but also their family and the individuals of the community impacted by their disorder.

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9th National Forum of Seclusion and Restraint

Report on the 9th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Forum

 

The 9th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Forum in Canberra on the 28th and 29th of November, 2013 addressed the issues surrounding the overpowering of mental health consumers in Australia and offered alternatives to seclusion and restraint. At the end of the first day, the Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Alan Fels, presented the National Seclusion and Restraint Declaration.

 

The declaration asserted that “seclusion and restraint of people with mental health problems is a human rights issue”, it is “not therapeutic” and it is “distressing to everyone involved.” It called for change.

 

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National Recognition of Mad in Australia

Justice Action has achieved a considerable victory! This comes from the National Mental Health Commission who, in their 2nd Report Card, has quoted our work "Mad in Australia" as expressing the voices of the people in the justice system regarding mental health. It says that those views and stated needs must be incorporated in any promising practice for changed policies in a failed system, costing up to $1,000,000 a person a year.

This means that we will now be listened to, rather than excluded as an illegitimate outsider, with no power, especially regarding the most unpopular and socially excluded people in the community. This acknowledgement is now being used as leverage in negotiations with bureaucracies within the criminal justice sytem and government.

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Forced Medication in Australia: An International Perspective

Numerous international recommendations and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) condemn forcible medication, yet it continues to be allowed under Australian law. Australia is the only country of the 79 that have ratified UNCRPD to reserve its right to forcibly medicate the disabled. For our media release click here.

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and has done a lot to improve the standards and mechanisms for people with disabilities in Australia. However there is still more to be done according to the recent observations (see links attached*) the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the body of human rights experts tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Convention).  

*Links:

Click here for a PDF copy of this article.

Click here for a DOCX copy of this article.

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10th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Forum

Report on the 10th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Forum 2015

The 10th National Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Forum was held in Melbourne on 28th and 29th of May 2015. The Forum continues the work to give respect to mental consumers and help with their issues without force being used against them.

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An Open Letter to the Long Bay Treating Team

An open letter to Dr. Antonio Simonelli, head of the Justice Health Treating Team for Malcolm Baker

 

Re: Malcolm Baker Mental Health Review Tribunal Hearing, 30 April 2015

From: Brett Collins

To: Antonio Simonelli

Date: Tuesday, 28 April 2015 19:40 pm

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New Mental Health Bill Useless

The Sydney Morning Herald article dated 7 November 2014 criticises the Mental Health Bill. The Bill comes before the NSW Legislative Council the week of 10 November. It needs to be stopped and amended.

Our analysis of the Bill is underneath the Sydney Morning Herald article. 

Act now! Contact the Minister Jai Rowell    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (02) 8574 7100 

And shadow minister Barbara Perry  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (02) 9644 6972

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Mental Health Review Tribunal

Justice Action made a submission on 06/10/2017 to the Review of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in respect of forensic patients. The Hon Anthony Whealy QC is conducting the Review and will report to the Minister in December. Click here to access a PDF copy of our submission. 

 

 

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