Another idea to submit for funding for the Innovation Fund – we desperately need this – we are entitled to it. Could also work in with the Regional Rehabilitation Centres.
GOVERNMENT REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES
Attached please find a rehabilitation model and business plan for Mental Injury Services which outlines where I believe mental health care for mentally injured abuse victims and traumatised people should be going (also for some mentally ill people). Mental injury being different in nature to mental illness because mental injury is a ‘normal’ person that has been subjected to overwhelming trauma and needs help to recover. Mental illness is more permanent and requires ongoing care and support.
To provide the professional treatment care habilitation and rehabilitation people with mental injury or illness require there needs to be regional mental health facilities. Shutting down the extensive mental health facilities in the 1990s (based on improving someone’s human rights – when it actually adversely affected these disabled people more) is incomprehensible and allowing it to continue is reprehensible. On the news tonight yet another mentally ill man living in the community has killed, this time his mother, an elderly couple and badly injured his father. There should be better secure facilities for dangerously mentally ill people, the mental health facilities I am advocating for here do not include these people – this is a Fence At the Top of the Cliff – not ambulance at the bottom. Until people could prove they are safe they would not have access to these facilities.
It is too distressing for me to go into the extensive reasons New Zealand (and many other countries) desperately need facilities and safe housing for people with mental health issues. Facilities to help them heal and those to help them keep busy and feel valued.
The extensive use of pharmaceuticals to try and control people, who more importantly need the basic needs met (please refer Maslow’s Heirachy of Needs), is part of the failure of mental health services and a gross miscarriage of justice. The use of pharmaceuticals was a result of neo-liberal theories that it was cheaper to give a person a drug and put them in the community than actually providing professional treatment care and rehabilitation. News reports have stated the government undertook to make the mental health services drug based to save money – it hasn’t. Many of these drugs are highly experimental and have been linked to increases in psychopathy, suicide, mass murders and psychosis. All the things they are supposed stop, they actually create.
I envisage these mental health centres be based on professional rehabilitation practices with client based approach and practical therapies like gardening – opportunities to participate in growing food etc. Working in the earth is very good therapy and can be used to reduce stress if the person goes back in the community. Group therapy is important as people will need to be able to communicate and support each other in the community, learning skills here will help in society. It will help people who have been mentally injured pass on what they learn and experience to others.
Art is another huge part of healing and therapy in the area of mental health with traumatised people having highly active right brains. People should be able to explore their creativity and see it come to fruition if possible. The cultural value for society is extensive and could lead to further work and recognition outside the mental health facility. Talent could be identified and advanced with advocacy. I envisage cultural events like plays, exhibitions etc that would entertain international visitors along with making souvenirs perhaps.
I envisage six week ‘retreats’ for mentally injured people with rehabilitation in the community prior to the retreats and following them, until the person is well enough to live independently, if that is possible.
ACC to build regional mental health facilities to cater to the people I have described above. Put the $billions they have invested in foreign markets, businesses that destroy the planet, security providers, into building these facilities. Make them of a very high quality using sustainable building practices, similar to the Regional Rehabilitation Centres. The mental health facilities will have accommodation for clients and support staff – mental health challenges happen 24 hours a day seven days a week.