We prepared a submission to the Senate Inquiry into indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia. Our submission highlighted some recurring experiences of people we have worked with receiving long-term involuntary treatment under the Mental Health Act 2013. Receiving long-term and involuntary treatment at a facility such as the Millbrook Rise Centre constitutes indefinite detention for the purposes of the inquiry, as Treatment Order can continue to be extended every six to twelve months by the Mental Health Tribunal – leaving people in a position where they do not have real certainty or control over their futures.
The people we have worked with in these facilities often do not understand why they are there or why they are not allowed to leave. They might not understand what a treatment order is, the role of the Mental Health Tribunal, or what rights they actually have. People overwhelmingly say that their primary goal is to be discharged and then leave permanently. People also want more control over their lives and speak to us about wanting to be able to access leave and use it when and how they choose, and to get back some control over their finances. People are also distressed about recent changes providing for fees to be charged after thirty-five days of involuntary inpatient treatment when people are not acutely unwell.
You can view our submission here (PDF Format).