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Streaming video

Title Four Corners: Hidden Voices
Published Australia : ABC, 2010
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (44 min. 58 sec.) ; 272366021 bytes
Summary The story of an Australian town that holds a lesson for each and every person who's been touched by mental illness.Typical of many regional centres around Australia, Mackay in Queensland is a place that appears to have it all - tourism, lucrative mines and lush farmlands. But like so many other places, it struggles to properly take care of members of the community who are mentally ill. Now reporter Quentin McDermott asks, why have Australia's Governments deserted those who need their help most?On 27th December 2005 a young woman, Joanna Scriha, was bashed to death in bushland near the Queensland town of Mackay. The killer was her boyfriend. Both had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Both, at different times, had been discharged from the Mackay Base Hospital psychiatric unit because of pressure to free up the beds."Every time I pass the cemetery, I think of Joanna, and I think that we haven't come very far. Yes I believe it could've been prevented." - Local mental health professional.Joanna's story is not unique. This week reporter Quentin McDermott talks to others who have failed to get ongoing, effective treatment from the local hospital and public health centre. Other agencies and private practitioners also tell how they are critically overworked and under-resourced.A recent cluster of youth suicides has highlighted the problems the people in the region face. Six young people killed themselves; three were Aboriginal. Not one of them had been picked up by the mental health system for treatment.It's now clear that despite the town's growing population and the region's enormous wealth-producing industry, the funding allocations for mental health programs have not kept pace with demand. It's also clear that Mackay is not an isolated example. As Four Corners discovers, this regional centre is a classic case study in Government neglect and reflects the problems that exist in many parts of Australia.According to mental health experts the biggest problem nationally is the lack of early intervention programs. What they would like to see is a system where a young person with problems can see mental health care professionals so they can be treated before the condition becomes acute. Right now the experts say patients are given intensive treatment only after they are in a crisis situation."In many other areas of Australia there is no alternative to the acute [psychiatric] care unit. So for that reason the acute care units become the last resort and the sole resort for services." John Mendoza, mental health expert.As the election campaign gathers pace, doctors, nurses and health administrators - along with patients and their families - are asking: who will deliver the funds and resources necessary to bring our mental health services into line with the rest of the Western world?
Notes Closed captioning in English
Event Broadcast 2010-08-09 at 20:30:00
Notes Classification: NC
Subject Depression, Mental -- Treatment.
Mental health services -- Management.
Mentally ill -- Services for.
People with mental disabilities -- Government policy.
Psychiatry -- Political aspects.
Form Streaming video
Author Barnett, Leda, contributor
Bowman, Tarah, contributor
Danieletto, Colleen, contributor
Fewquandie, Sonetta, contributor
Froggatt, Andy, contributor
Futter, Graham, contributor
Grieves, Christian, contributor
Harris, Scott, contributor
Higgins, Nicole, contributor
McDermott, Quentin, reporter
McGorry, Patrick, contributor
McGregor, Steve, contributor
Mendoza, John, contributor
Robertson, Katrina, contributor
Scriha, Grace, contributor