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WA mental health may breach human rights: forum

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Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner believes there has been a clear breach of human rights if stories about mental health services in south-west Western Australia are true.

Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner believes there has been a clear breach of human rights if stories about mental health services in south-west Western Australia are true.More than 100 people including mental health patients, carers, clinicians and GPs attended a forum to talk about mental health services in the state’s south-west. Human Rights Commissioner Sev Ozdowski says he was surprised both patients and doctors had nothing but criticism for the services.”What I’m concerned about is the use of chemical restraints, about putting people to sleep for up to 20 hours just to restrain their movements,” he said.Although the stories told at the forum are unsubstantiated, Mr Ozdowski says they will be collated with other information from around Australia.He will then assess if a national mental health inquiry is necessary.The forum’s focus will shift to mental health services in Perth today.Mental Health Council chief executive Grace Groom says there are grave fears the Western Australian Government is neglecting the sector.”We’ve been watching with interest what’s been happening over here, particularly how the West Australian Government has been progressively withdrawing funding from mental health services right across the state,” she said.”All of our attempts in the past to try to convince this Government to try and modify its practices and reinvest in mental health have been ignored.”(Source: ABC News: July 2004)

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Posted On: 9 July, 2004
Modified On: 5 December, 2013

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