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Bedlam - Hypothetical Mental health and Justice (Stage 2)

(Poster attached)

The Community Justice Coalition and
International Commission of Jurists Australia





DAN HOWARD, SC –President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal

PAUL CLORAN – Deputy Chair Pacjcbedlampr191113role Authority

OLAV NIELSEN – Senior forensic psychiatrist

DOUGLAS HOLMES – Consumer Participation Officer, Inner City Health Program, St Vincent's Hospital


5.30pm-7.30pm – Registration 5.15pm
Macquarie Street, Sydney

Adults $20 Students, concession $10 Cash or cheque only

RSVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Using a hypothetical format, we continue to trace the journey of a mentally ill person who may have committed an offence, through the criminal justice and mental health systems. In this session we examine the second stage of the journey. Last year we dealt with arrest or detention or surrender and subsequent appearance before a court or tribunal. This year we will deal with the later stages of prison or detention in a mental health facility and post-release issues.

The panel of experts will be asked to address various factual situations. Our aim is to identify problems and seek solutions by taking a practical approach.

Join us as we explore the complex and often confusing pathways through these systems in the second of the series following the first seminar held 29 September 2012.

A look into the success of the first Bedlam of 2012

Here is a report on the issues brought up and discussed during Bedlam 2012.
Although Bedlam is a hypothetical scenario, this does not deny that the issues are REAL and seeking attention - attention we so got through the success and poularity of Bedlam 2012 and so wish to receive in the upcoming Bedlam 2013.
To read more about the issues and happenings of Bedlam 2012 click here to view the transcript of proceedings
For a video of a snippet here http://youtu.be/PN-_fe4znho


General Issues of Bedlam include:


There are three Acts: the Crimes Act defines crimes; the Mental Health Act (MHA) provides a legislative framework for the treatment, voluntary or involuntary, of mental health patients; the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act looks at the intersection between mental health issues and justice issues.

Defining mental illness

There are two different categories under the legislation, the mentally disordered, and the mentally ill, MHA sections 13, 14 and 15 (definitions for these). It can be difficult to determine the boundary where, eg, severe depression becomes mental disorder, where there is lack of control etc. It is a matter for the expert to assess. The court is guided by expert opinion.

Police role in picking up mental illness

If the Police see bizarre behaviour of a person, they may take the person to hospital. If the doctor considers the person poses a substantial risk of serious harm to himself or others, he may be Scheduled as mentally ill, and involuntarily treated in the hospital.

Numbers affected by mental illness

Some 16,400 people (detained on mental health grounds) came before the Mental Health Review Tribunal in the last two years. And there are many others who do not get before the Tribunal, but who may come before the justice system

The Hypothetical Case of Eric

Bedlam presents a hypothetical case of Eric, a young Australia, 19, who gets in a situation as presented below:

"Eric, 19, has had a big night out, and a 'friend' has slipped

him an undisclosed drug which has a strange effect on him. His friends take him out of the

hotel at 1 am or so, and he gets very agitated. Someone hits him; he lunges out, smashing a

plate glass window and hurting himself. His mates disappear quickly. The Police come. He is

incoherent, can't remember his name or who he is, how he got blood on his hands or how the

window got broken. He is agitated and threatening violence."

Eric is just 1 of the approximately 54,000 people who visit Sydney's St. Vincent's Hospital and may be apart of the 10% that present with pressing Mental Health Issues.

So what are we, as Australian citizens, to do?

This video and excerpt from Bedlam 2012, will give some insight into this tricky question.

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