Hospital visit approved

Media Release Thursday September 29, 2011

Mental Health breakthrough – hospital visit approved
“In a breakthrough over two years in the making, Justice Action workers will visit patient Saeed Dezfouli in the Forensic Hospital Long Bay, at 9:30 this morning. This is the first time his friends have been permitted to see and touch him, yet he is a non-violent man forcibly injected every two weeks, denied education, social support and his identity. The team will conduct media interviews upon their exit at 10:45am” said Justice Action coordinator Brett Collins.

“Following an approach to the Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries and a delegation to the Greens last week (photo), four Justice Action workers will finally meet Saeed face to face – two years and four months after the first logged request was made” said Mr Collins.

“A visit to hospital by concerned friends in the absence of family is one of the most sacred gifts of caring. In a locked hospital where you can’t leave, it is even more important to reduce the isolation and get them well. Finally the Health Department has accepted that allowing Saeed’s friends to support him is his right, is intrinsic to his wellbeing and to the deinstitutionalisation model on which current mental health policies are based” said Mr Collins.

“Despite numerous requests, Forensic Hospital Director Dr Adrian Keller has yet to provide Justice Action with an official visiting policy and to explain the reason for the change of heart. Keller is notorious as the administrator who said ‘Billions more for the mentally ill but the buck stops elsewhere’ but in this case the buck stops with him. We call him to account” said Mr Collins.

Contact: 0438 705003

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