April update on the Senate Inquiry about Indefinite Detention
We’ve sent our feedback to inform the Senate’s Inquiry about Indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia. We made comments and recommendations based on the problems we’ve heard from people who have experienced the forensic mental health system. Here are some of the things we wrote about:
- The clog in the forensic mental health system is causing people to be detained longer than necessary
- Rehabilitation programs in the forensic system need to be more person-centred
- People don’t feel adequately involved in their mental health tribunal hearings and reviews
- There are instances where people are inappropriately moved backwards in the forensic system
- We need more feedback from women, and people under the age of 18 who have experienced the forensic system
We also wrote about how some people in inpatient mental health units can feel like they’re being indefinitely detained because they’re not informed about discharge dates. We included some feedback from people who admitted themselves voluntarily to mental health inpatient units and didn’t realise the hospital still had some powers to not let them leave when they wanted.
Our submission focused on the problems people have shared with us, rather than their good experiences of mental health care. We do this to alert the Senate Committee to issues that are negatively impacting on consumers.
Download and read our submission here: Senate Inquiry about Indefinite Detention (April 2016)