From Right Now: Human Rights in Australia: “Indigo Daya still has nightmares from her treatment . . . Rather than help her during distress, Indigo said she was traumatized by the system.

‘I have a terror of seeking help from any health practitioner, for fear I may end up subjected to these practices again … For mental health services did enormous long-lasting harm.’

That was 10 years ago, but how far have we really come? . . .

Generally, the consultations are all one way; consumers have no information about the competency of their assessors, but the assessor knows everything about them. Consumers’ thoughts are considerations at best (‘delusions’ at worst), while the assessor’s opinions are facts. If the consumer is angry at the absurdity of the situation, it is clinical aggression, and the use of force is therapeutic. The consumer is bound by compulsory treatment laws, while the assessors see human rights as optional . . .

It happens far too often, and in Victoria it happens at higher rates than the national average.

Mental health systems should be built on compassion, support and human rights.

Only by confronting these challenges, will we make systems that help, rather than hurt, people who are in distress.”

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