Callan Park Experiment Project

Overview

The national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services recognises the importance of the right of self-determination to recovery. Although Australia and NSW have policies that embrace the consumer-led movement, there remains significant gaps in its delivery resulting in individuals becoming entrapped. The Callan Park Consumer Mental Health Project will help address this gap. The project is directed by mental health consumers themselves independently from the Health Department funding and response to those most detected by severe and permanent mental health issues. It will restore trust and involve these individuals to reduce unnecessary restriction in keeping with the language of recovery and the consumer-led movement. Governments and the community have moral and legal obligations to reactivate Callan Park for the primary benefit of mental health consumers. Its community legacy acknowledges the past inhumane behaviour to mental health consumers, and for consumers to show forgiveness by moving on with wellness and goodwill. It will also breathe new life into the park through an innovative community based mental health hub that ensures cost-effective public ownership of the park to the benefit of the community and primary stakeholders.

History

Callan Park was bought by the Government in 1873 for a mental asylum and has been home for hundreds of thousands of people with psychiatric disabilities – consumers, until its closure in 2008. The Royal Commission into Callan Park Hospital in 1961 revealed serious problems that persist today in our health and custodial institutions: overcrowding, poor food quality, hopelessness, languishing and pointless lives, and poorly-managed staff behaviour that exacerbated disturbances to those they are employed to care and protect. It is now our duty to ensure fundamental reform that deals with the persistent problem of human rights failures that damage both society and individuals. From this legacy, we demonstrate maturity as a civilised society to provide contemporary mental health and to facilitate inclusion of those with disability and to empower the disadvantaged. 

The submissions to the Callan Park Master Plan identified service gaps in the promotion of recovery and wellness following illness. 

Project

Callan Park as a wellness hub on humane and contemporary mental health support, demonstrates the empowering consumer-led approach, facilitates choice, recovery, and social inclusion, and embraces consumers with respect and hope. The Callan Park 2010 Master Plan’s vision is to redevelop the park as “a sanctuary for mental health consumers”. The Wellness Sanctuary proposal is formed around a consumer-run social enterprise, oriented to peer and lifestyle support, offering research and training facilities. One of its goals is to amplify the voices of mental health consumers.

Rose Cottage is proposed as the Wellness Sanctuary and would incorporate heath, education and community. Rose Cottage is an ideal site for the proposed Wellness Centre headquarters or Hub. The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) previously utilised Rose Cottage, however, since their relocation it has been vacant and thus could be utilised for the development of the Wellness Sanctuary. Here, the principles of the Master Plan and “Our Backyard Report” would be incorporated and employed.

Accommodation 

 Hyperlink OurBackyard080211.pdf uploaded on drive – he wants the information out of here 

Latest News

Community Exposure 

Over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of April 2021 Justice Action created an information booth in front of Rose Cottage. Flyers were handed out to bypassers. ADD WHATEVER IS NEEDED

Justice Action wished to implement some beautiful roses in order to represent a nurtured community at Callan Park as they wished to stake their vision of the Wellness Sanctuary. The first roses planted were deemed to be too close to the sandstone walls due possible negative effects on the footing and rising damp. Roses were then replanted at a more suitable distance away from the sandstone walls however were removed due to DPIE preparing to implement a series of landscape improvements. 

Sign reads: “Rose Cottage: Mental Health Cons”U”mer Project” 

Replacement rose garden on the Western wall

First rose planting on the Eastern wall