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To: The Queensland Government

Don't lock wards - provide real mental health care

Don't lock wards - provide real mental health care

Dear Minister, please don't proceed with the plan to lock public mental health units in Queensland. Locking wards does not help vulnerable patients' recovery from their illnesses. It stigmatises them and does not address the real reasons that unwell patients might choose to leave a mental health facility. Please look at issues like the proper design of wards, therapeutic inpatient programs and activities, adequate staffing levels, fully functioning community care teams, residential options in the community, step-up and step-down facilities that are not hospital based, adequately resourced and proactive Acute Care Teams that provide interventions, support and care in the community to prevent the need for hospitalisation. Please address the over-reliance on sedation as a stop-gap for chronic systemic issues. There is decades of research to support the principles of Recovery and Least Restrictive Care. Please don't lock the wards!

Why is this important?

Vulnerable people in need of care will be subjected to overcrowding and further stigmatisation. Nurses will experience more violence and injuries. Rather than recovery and the treatment of illness, there will be a shift to custodial care which has been proven repeatedly to worsen the course of mental illness not improve it.

How it will be delivered

I plan to make an appointment to see my local member and ask him to deliver the petition to the Health Minister.

Reasons for signing

  • This is the mental health of others. People locked up like rabid animals.
  • A society is judged on how it treats its sick and the elderly. We need to be implementing more effective harm minimization strategies such as more public education on mental health issues and more funding in this area of Australia's health system. If such strategies are implemented then sufferers would seek early help when their condition is easier to treat and have a quicker recovery time. This in turn would save billions of tax payer dollars in the long term.
  • It's a sad state of affairs when a Doctor you have not even seen before and one that hasn't even looked at your personal file has the power to indefinitely detain you and remove your personal liberties.


2013-12-25 21:01:35 +1100

500 signatures reached

2013-12-11 09:27:19 +1100

Thanks everyone for your support. This morning I have contacted the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (of which I am a Fellow), The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and the Australian Mental Health Commission asking for their response to this issue (and hopefully to resist the knee-jerk idea of locking wards.) I am also trying to get the press interested. Cheers Paul

2013-12-11 02:09:08 +1100

100 signatures reached

2013-12-10 22:24:00 +1100

50 signatures reached

2013-12-10 21:04:53 +1100

25 signatures reached

2013-12-10 20:23:16 +1100

10 signatures reached