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Commission Stigmatises Compulsory Treatment

Commission Stigmatises Compulsory Treatment

Heather Roy Monday, 6 March 2006 Press Releases - Health

Today's call from the Mental Health Commission for a reduction in compulsory treatment orders is irrational and irresponsible, says ACT Health Spokesman, Heather Roy.

"Instead of giving reasoned and responsible advice, the Commission has overreacted to one dubious report from the United States that claims patients under compulsory order are tortured", Mrs Roy said.

"The Mental Health Commission is calling for less treatment under compulsory order, while the public call for the mentally unwell to be locked away forever, which leaves those trying to care for patients in a very difficult position.

"The Commission should stick to their purpose of ensuring that 'meeting the needs of service users and families is a priority in mental health services', instead of stigmatising compulsory treatment which frequently saves lives.

"The Mental Health Commission seems to have concluded that New Zealand psychiatrists, judges and district inspectors are colluding to trap the seriously mentally ill into treatment.

"The fact is that there is often nowhere for these patients to go in the community - acute wards are filled with medium and long term patients now because safe community placements do not exist.

"Clinicians, in conjunction with patients and families, should be making the decision about appropriate treatment - not overexcited bureaucrats.


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