Media release: Friday December 18, 2020
“All mental health authorities across Australia have responded in this Report about the forced medication of 74 year old mother of five Kerry O’Malley. Her case was won in the Supreme Court. It was illegal abuse of a gentle woman” said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.
“The injections caused severe side effects. She was accused of sitting in a chemist shop, confused, for six hours. She was one of 5,000 in NSW and 17,000 in Australia being forcibly injected. The campaign was supported by the world-leading blog Mad in America” said Justice Action Mental Health Team leader Lillian Scarborough.
“This Report shows that the leading organisations support the call for change including Mental Health Australia, Mental Health Carers NSW, VMIAC and Consumers Health Forum Australia” said Mr Collins.
“However the gatekeepers to forced medication – the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Chief Psychiatrist resist. Here are their refusals to change their directions to the industry despite being confronted with an analysis of the law.” said Ms Scarborough.
The newly released Productivity Commission Report on Mental Health agrees they need to change. It said at p.6:
“Australia’s mental health system does not empower those who need it. People with mental illness often have little say in their own treatment and are deprived of the information and other resources that they need to manage and make decisions about their own care. Providers of clinical and community services too often deliver what they think consumers need, sometimes based on ill-informed assumptions about the decision-making capacity of the consumer and sometimes based just on the symptoms presented to them rather than a holistic view of the individual. Our recommendations aim to empower the service users, in partnership with their families and carers, to have real input into the health decisions that affect their lives.”
“Now we need direction from governments to the gatekeepers, or more court cases will challenge this abusive practice. Significant civil damages will follow” said Mr Collins.
Brett Collins 0438 705 003
Lillian Scarborough 0400 080 609