World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Australia: Mental Health - A Right Gone Wrong

Mental Health - A Universal Right Gone Wrong

Australia is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when measures of our community’s Mental Health are analyzed.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed in 1948 states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3) and further “The right to social security and the realization …of those rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality” (Article 22).

Just one month ago the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists met in Sydney to consider drastic industrial action to highlight the acute shortage of beds and rehabilitation services for those with mental illnesses.

Louise Newman, Chair of the NSW Branch of the College of Psychiatrists made this point: “We've now got to the situation where community safety, the rights of patients and the rights of their carers are actually being compromised by what is a systemic problem and the failure of Government to address an immediate crisis.”

Add to this the specific concerns about the mental health of Indigenous Australians and those who’ve come to Australia as Refugees and Asylum Seekers and the urgency of the situation multiplies.

“The community needs to have a good look at the state of its mental health now. It has reached a crisis point,” said Maqsood Alshams, a Member of the Organizing Committee of the Conference “Human Rights and Mental Health in the political context of contemporary Australia” to be held at the NSW Parliament House on Monday, 08 March 2004.

Indigenous Australians and Asylum Seekers are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Australia. Seventy percent of Asylum Seekers have experienced severe trauma before arriving in Australia. The trauma is exacerbated by a prolonged, indefinite stay in detention.

It’s not surprising therefore that post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety are common and they have a knock on effect to physical health.

“Given my own experience of prolonged and indefinite detention, I was surprised by the attitude of the community and Government Departments. It was a shock to realize that in a rich, developed country such as Australia, the protection of one’s Mental Health was still not seen as a fundamental Human Right,” said Mr Alshams.

The March 8 conference jointly organized by S A V E - Australia Inc, ANTaR, A Just Australia and Edmund Rice Centre, will present the perspectives of detainees, politicians, mental health experts and Indigenous Australians.

Prominent speakers include the Hon Dr Carmen Lawrence MHR, Sr Susan Connelly RSJ, Ms Lillian Holt, Mr Craig Sanroque, Dr Eileen Pittaway, Dr Louise Newman, Sen Andrew Bartlett.

Mr Alshams and other speakers and organizers of the conference are available for media comments.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news