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Mental Health

"Make Orders!" says Saeed

“Make Orders!” says Saeed.

Saeed Dezfouli is locked in a mental health system with no oversight. The Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) refuses to defend the people whom it is designed to protect. It is less than a rubber stamp. It says its "practice is not to make orders". That means the psychiatrists can do whatever they want, present Treatment Plans to the Tribunal at Reviews and then change them without any discussion or justification. Out of control but with the appearance of professional respect.

Recommendations made by the President of the Tribunal Dan Howard in March 2014 for Saeed to have a computer and consumer worker support "as soon as practicable" have been ignored. During the September 2014 Review Howard said: "sometimes the system needs a kicking" and still he was ignored. Contempt for him as he deserves! But Saeed gets the kicking.

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Visit To Saeed - full article

Cheerful banter with the on-duty nurse of the Dee Why Ward at the Forensic Hospital provided a stark contrast to what life behind the twenty-foot high concrete walls must be like. For many forensic patients, including Saeed Dezfouli, there is no indication of when they will be released, having had an indefinite sentence imposed. For Saeed and all the forensic patients, this isolation and disjunct from the outside world is a day-to-day living reality. 

 

On 12 September 2014, we (Damian, Danielle, and Melissa), as workers from Justice Action, visited Saeed at the Forensic Hospital. Visitations as friends of the patient was previously not permitted. As a forensic patient, being able to have visits from friends is a fundamental right and is also important for their overall wellbeing. Despite this, it was not seen as a right until 2011, when Justice Action was finally granted access for the first time to visit Saeed as friends, after extensive campaigning for almost two and a half years. This is an example of the heavy-handed institutionalisation of forensic patients. 

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Visit To Saeed

On 12 September 2014, three workers from Justice Action visited Saeed Dezfouli at the Forensic Hospital in Long Bay. The following is a report on the experience of the visit. After meeting and talking with Saeed, it gave Justice Action some insight into what day-to-day life is like inside the Forensic Hospital for these patients. Read full article here.

Latest Saeed Hearing

On 4 September 2014 the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) convened for Saeed Dezfouli. The hearing followed a series of meetings with the hospital that were held to address why key recommendations from the last MHRT hearing had not been implemented. Justice Health’s conduct during those negotiations demonstrated an absolute unwillingness to be held accountable for their actions and a cavalier approach to the implementation of MHRT recommendations. The Lindsay judgment giving power to the Tribunal had been ignored by the hospital. Here is our Media Release.

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Saeed blog

Voice Inside Madness

Blog: by Saeed Dezfouli

Monday 13th October 2014

Open Day at Forensic Hospital

Friday October 10 was the NSW Mental Health Open Day. Between 11am to 2pm, the psychiatrists and most of the psych nurses of Justice Health in the Forensic Hospital actively treat us with respect, dignity and courtesy. Overall, the day was enjoyable and appeared successful. It was positive to see patients, nurses, doctors, and representatives from Justice Health and the Mental Health Review Tribunal all enjoying a day together. It was as though everyone was on equal ground for a fleeting moment.

The forensic patients who have behaved themselves were allowed to invite two visitors to share the day with them. This year, I invited the Coordinator of Justice Action my primary carer, Brett Collins, and one of Justice Action’s caseworkers, Dion.

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Mental Tribunal threatens indefinite imprisonment

After an unprecedented six weeks in consideration, the Mental Health Review Tribunal made a 58 page decision on March 20, 2014 on the future of Saeed Dezfouli, the man who was subject of the ABC Background Briefing program “The Man Without a Name”.

‘The Tribunal rubber-stamped the hospital’s authority to act as it wants, despite the Supreme Court saying it had power over the hospital. The forced injections will continue in the highest security cells. It said if Saeed doesn’t "make a genuine effort to engage with the treating team’s current treatment plan which includes injected medication…he may simply continue to remain in his current circumstances indefinitely”. We are considering another appeal’ said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

Saeed said today: “I’m not surprised by the result. For twelve years they have been trying to reduce me and those around me to dazed, medicated semi-humans. That is their culture. They must respect our human right to learn and recover”. He has begun a weekly blog called “VOICE INSIDE MADNESS" reporting on what is happening around him.

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Update on Saeed: 12 March, 2014

Saeed’s hearing before the Tribunal is fast approaching! On Thursday 20 March the Tribunal will conduct an urgent review of Saeed’s case, that has been brought forward from the usual six-monthly timetable in light of the extraordinary circumstances that Saeed is facing. After a period of high tension between Saeed and the hospital, appeal to the NSW Supreme Court, an injunction, disrupted negotiation, forced medication and a water and hunger strike, Saeed’s case is finally coming to a head.

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Saeed's Strike Ends

"Forty eight hours after Saeed Dezfouli  was forcibly injected by eight staff from the Forensic Hospital, he called off his hunger and thirst protest strike” said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins. 

"On Saturday afternoon the hospital told him that it was reducing the dosage of paliperidone. After consultation with his support group, Saeed decided to keep his strength rather than endangering his life further,” Mr Collins explained.

"This was tactical decision by Saeed, pending a Mental Health Review Tribunal Review five weeks away, foreshadowed by the Supreme Court. An application was made yesterday to bring the hearing forward because of the Forensic Hospital’s decision to ignore alternative treatment using social support, and compel submission for its own convenience. An agreement Saeed had made with Mental Health Consumer Workers would have avoided the continued confrontation, but wasn’t even listened to” said Mr Collins.

"Saeed's David and Goliath struggle with the mental health system continues to highlight its brutality. Forcibly medicating intelligent and gentle Saeed when he is causing no problem, is contrary to the principles of “Recovery”, and against the national agreement that seclusion and restraint is anti therapeutic. It is easy bullying vulnerable people who are instead entitled to service, but have no power or support to compel it” said Mr Collins. 

"Saeed has served twelve years of brutal imprisonment without an end, for an act that would have merited four years in the criminal system. It is time to let this proud man go, giving him support to resettle in the community” said Mr Collins.

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