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Mental Health Overhaul Needed Urgently

Media Release

16 April 2003

Mental Health Overhaul Needed Urgently

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark is calling for a overhaul of the mental health system after another attack by a mental health patient who was released back into society.

“We have another case where a mental health patient has terrorised members of the community after being discharged from care,” said Mr Mark.

“The patient was able to leave round-the-clock care, where he had a history of rapid deterioration when he did not take his medication, and board with a family without having to tell them of his mental history.

“The patient deteriorated after leaving secure care and one night attacked the couple he was boarding with. Fortunately the injuries were not fatal, however the couple should not have been put at risk in the first place, they should have been informed of his illness.

“In this instance the Waitemata Health Board have admitted their mistakes in dealing with the case as even the health care workers who visited the patient at the family’s home did not inform them of his illness.

“It is time for the Government to accept that there is a place in our society for secure mental health institutions before more people are hurt, or worse killed,” said Mr Mark.


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