Join the debate ...

To comment on a home page post, click on the "# comments" link at the end of each post. To comment on any other page just scroll to the bottom of the screen and type in the comments box.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

I make a commitment to fight this unjust ban.

December 2010: By now, I am getting particularly mad. Not crazy mad, but angry mad.

Sure, this isn't the most important issue in mental health; but it’s a symbol of the larger issues. These bans represent a lack of respect for people in vulnerable and difficult circumstances. For all the talk about consumer participation, I am seeing a complete disregard for our needs and opinions.

As though involuntary treatments of medications, ECT (shock treatments), being locked in seclusion or restraints are not enough of an insult to our dignity and rights, we are now deprived of the simple act of smoking a cigarette. And worse, this happens when we are at our most distressed.

These bans are cruel, inappropriate and discriminatory – and they don’t help anyone. Other people in Australia are entitled to quit smoking on their own terms. Even the two other groups in society who, like us, are deprived of liberty – prisoners and refugees in detention centres – are allowed to smoke. So why are mental health patients singled out in this way?

Sure, quitting is a great idea. But enforced quitting in the midst of an acute psychiatric breakdown is ludicrous.

At this point I decided that I was utterly committed to fight this ban to the bitter end. So I asked VEOHRC to refer my complaint to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on my request, to be heard as an anti-discrimination case.

1 comment:

  1. I love this website. There is so much information on this page and you can learn so much just from reading the comments