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Western Australian Mental Health Bill 2011: Draft Bill for Public Comment.

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on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 09:21
e draft bill) which you should absolutely be made aware of.

If you don't like what you read below you have until the 9th March, 2012 to
Written by Velvet Martin advocate against institutional abuse.
This is awful for the people down under.

Please take the time to read this email from beginning to end

FROM: The Athena School < <> >

DATE 29 February 2012

Hello to all Students and Parents of Applied Scholastics and to the people who have signed up for our Newsletters.

My name is Alison Tarrant and I am the Director of Applied Scholastics Western Australia based in Perth. My staff and I have helped you or your children in the area of education and most of you know us quite well.

Some very disturbing information has come across our path in relation to a Draft Mental Health Bill which concerns our precious children and our rights as parents. When I read it I was quite shocked and thought someone was playing a joke on me but then I went onto the main website which is the Government Department of the Mental Health Commission and looked at the actual Draft Bill.

This is an extremely lengthy document which you can easily get lost in and miss the main points of the Draft Mental Health Bill that the Mental Health Commission is wanting to pass as law in our society.

I have done you a big favour and provided you with the main points below (with pages numbers relating to th
send a letter/submission to the Mental Health Commission and others stating exactly what you think and also an opportunity to reject this Proposed Bill:

Write expressing your objections to the Mental Health Commission and to your state legislator.

Feedback closes 9th March 2012 at 5pm.

Email: on or

Mail: GPO Box X2299 Perth Business Centre, W.A. 6847

Send a copy of your objections to the Mental Health Minister, Health Minister and your local Member of Parliament.

Find their addresses at: <>

Please read below for the main points:

CHILDREN OF ANY AGE TO CONSENT TO STERILISATION: If a psychiatrist decides that a child (under 18 years) has sufficient maturity, he or she will be able to consent to sterilisation. Parental consent will not be needed. Only after the sterilisation procedure has been performed does it have to be reported and then only to the Chief Psychiatrist. [Pages: 135 & 136 of the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011]

12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO PSYCHOSURGERY: Banned in N.S.W. and the N.T., psychosurgery irreversibly damages the brain by surgery, burning or inserting electrodes. This draft bill proposes to allow a 12 year old child, if considered to be sufficiently mature by a psychiatrist, to be able to consent to psychosurgery. Once the child has consented it goes before the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) for approval. Parental consent is also not needed for the MHT to approve the psychosurgery. [Pages: 108, 109, 110, 197,198, 199, 213]

12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO ELECTROSHOCK (ECT): Electroshock is hundreds of volts of electricity to the head. Any child aged 12 and over, whom a child and adolescent psychiatrist decides is "mature" enough, will be able to consent to electroshock. Also, once consent is given, there is no requirement for parents or anyone, including the MHT, to approve the electroshock. Electroshock should be banned. Its use on the elderly, pregnant women and children is especially destructive. [Pages: 100, 101, 103, 104, 194, 105]

RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION OF CHILDREN: Children can be restrained in a psychiatric institution, with the use of mechanical restraint (manacles, belts, straps etc.) and bodily force. Chemical restraint - the use of psychiatric drugs to subdue and control the person - is not covered in the draft bill, so there are no legal safeguards to prevent its application. Death can result from all forms of restraint. [Pages: 122, 121, 113, 246]

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT OF CHILDREN: A psychiatrist can involuntarily detain any child for up to 14 days if "suspected" of mental illness. Parents will not be able to discharge their child during this period and take them home. The psychiatrist can then make a "continuation order" to continue the detainment for up to 3 months and thereafter for each subsequent 3 month period. During detainment, the child could be drugged, restrained, secluded, given electroshock if over 12 and could be put into a ward with adults. Parental consent is not required to continue the detainment or for any treatment, including the child being placed on a legal order to continue to receive drugs at home. The MHT hold hearings on the detainment of a child, but there is no guarantee the child will be able to go home. In 2010/11 there were 1,248 hearings for all ages and only 58 people had their status changed from involuntary to voluntary. [Pages: 21, 22, 35, 19, 107, 36, 53, 54, 183 -185, 190, 191, 213, 214,18, 46, 47, 48, 65, 66, 70, 73, 75-77]

WHO WILL BE ABLE TO DETAIN A CHILD IS NOT FULLY KNOWN: An "authorised mental health practitioner" can also detain a child or adult in the draft bill. Exactly who an authorised mental health practitioner is, is not defined by the draft bill. The Chief Psychiatrist can literally give anyone or any profession the power to detain someone just because he considers they are qualified and by publishing the decision in the Gazette. This clause must be removed from the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011. Only a judge or magistrate should have the power to order someone be detained, and only with full legal representation for the person facing depravation of liberty [Pages: 246, 247, 21, 22]

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DRAFT BILL?: The W.A. Mental Health Commission (MHC) were responsible for writing the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011, with Mental Health Commissioner and clinical psychologist, Mr Eddie Bartnik overseeing the process.

Has the above information shocked you as much as it has shocked me??

I suggest you write your letter saying exactly what you think.

Yours sincerely

Alison Tarrant




Mental Health Commission, Government of Western Australia


From the Western Australian State Government Website


Mental health legislation

The Government is committed to introducing a new Mental Health Bill into Parliament during its current term.


Current Status

The Mental Health Bill 2011: Draft Bill for Public Comment was launched by the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon Helen Morton MLC on 16 December 2011.  Transcript of the Minister's speech at the launch.

To assist people to make informed comment about the proposed changes, the Mental Health Commission ran numerous public consultation forums in Perth and regional WA during February 2012. The consultation period will end at 5.00pm on 9 March and it is anticipated that the final Bill will be introduced in Parliament in mid 2012.


All submissions will be published on our website unless authors specifically request otherwise. In general, organisations, but not individuals will be identified.



The following documents have been prepared to support the consultation process:

The Commission wants to ensure that all Western Australians have an opportunity to comment on the Mental Health Bill 2011: Draft Bill for Public Comment.

Here are the ways you can have your say:




The Mental Health Act 1996 is the current legislation in force in Western Australia. The Act is to provide for the care, treatment, and protection of persons who have mental illnesses, and for related purposes. Download a copy of the Mental Health Act 1996.

A review of the Mental Health Act 1996 by Professor D’Arcy Holman was completed in 2003. The review involved extensive public consultation, including in regional areas of Western Australia. Below are the synthesis of the Holman Review and the then Government’s response to the recommendations:

Drafting of a new Mental Health Bill commenced based on the recommendations of the Holman Review that were accepted by the previous Government. However, developments since the Holman Review was completed have necessitated a re-examination of the Draft Bill. These developments include:

In 2010, the Mental Health Commission convened a small Expert Group to advise on the extent to which the Draft Mental Health Bill reflects best practice in light of these developments (Click here for the membership of the Expert Group). The Expert Group considered latest research on mental health legislation as well as written submissions from key stakeholder groups.

Drafting has been informed by the Henderson Report, which was commissioned to provide advice on a quality assurance framework for mental health in Western Australia.

Resources on Mental Health Legislation

The Mental Health Commission has summarised international trends in mental health legislation. This paper was reviewed and considered by the expert group.

The Expert Group met with Professor Bernadette McSherry of Monash University. Professor McSherry is currently undertaking an extensive project looking at best practice in national and international mental health legislation. The expert group considered a collection of research papers and presentations on mental health laws by Professor McSherry.

Contact the Mental Health Commission for any questions - please insert LEGISLATION in the subject line.




Abandoned's picture

As an adult who had this happen to me while and because my partner contravened the court orders and then multiple times when DoCS stole my child and put her in foster care, I just want to say. This is not an experience for a dog let alone a human being. Strapped to a bed and injected with drugs against your will (for me cause they stole my child and I complained). I thought each time I was going to die, they are not concerned if you have had an allergic reaction to the drugs they illegally injected into your system and if you died I'm sure they would shrug their shoulders and go "oh well, its her own fault".

If this legislation gets through in WA it will get through all over. What are these narcissists thinking and more so who are they targeting with this submission. I keep blogging that there is something more sinister going on behind our Human Services Departments, and this just proves it.

Please let us know if this legislation gets through, on all the DoCS/Child Protection, various websites. What the hell has happened to our beautiful country? Have I actually died and I am living in hell?

Lukes Dad's picture

I agree, it is just disgusting. Sorry to hear that you have been a victim of this government abuse.


Lukes Dad's picture

Hello to everyone in my contacts list.
Please find below my e-mail to the politicians regarding the newly proposed mental health bill & the reply I have just received from John Castrilli, member for Bunbury.
I cannot believe that he actually said that this bill “represents a significant step in the reform of Western Australia’s mental health system”.
How is psychosurgery & electroshock treatment on 12 years olds “a step forward”? A ‘significant step’ backwards into the dark ages is what it is.
Total madness!
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: Draft for Mental Health Bill 2011
Dear Mr or Ms Broad

Thank you for taking the time to write to me regarding the draft Mental Health Bill 2011.  The Bill was released as a draft for public comment on 16 December 2011 and represents a significant step in the reform of Western Australia’s mental health system.   There have been many community consultation periods during the drafting of the proposed amendments and now that the Draft has been done, the public are again being asked to comment.


The Bill proposes changes that affect consumers, carers, clinicians and the community, which is why we strongly encourage everyone to have their say and welcome your feedback. 


Every submission which is made will be read and considered in the process of finalising the draft Bill.  As such, I have forwarded your correspondence to the Minister for Mental Health, Helen Morton for her consideration. 


If you would like any more information about the Bill, an explanatory guide and set of questions and answers is available from the Mental Health Commission’s website:


Thank you one again for bringing this matter to my attention.


Yours sincerely



John Castrilli


(08) 97 91 3636
Sent: Friday, 9 March 2012 9:49 AM
To: Undisclosed recipients
Subject: Draft for Mental Health Bill 2011


To my elected members


I am writing to register my disapproval on the following proposed bill.


I do not know how so called civilised people in the 21st century could think up such a barbaric piece of rubbish! This would have to be one of the darkest bills I have heard of & one in which the Australian people will not tolerate.


Again the government is trying to sneak through laws without the knowledge of the general population, which is not only unconstitutional but tyranny!


However with social networking websites now picking this up, people everywhere are being alerted to this, including radio broadcasts like


The people of this nation have had enough of unscrupulous politics from every party & we will vote with our feet in future elections.


Every person who has children or grandchildren will be extremely concerned because we all know how laws are perverted in this country like through the corrupt family court & so called, equally corrupt, child protection services who continue to damage children & their families & kill thousands of our children on a regular basis while the politicians sit back & do nothing.


We have had enough of the blatant lawlessness which you call the government.




T Broad



Abandoned's picture

Hi Tina

You are so good at the stuff, it would be so good to see these issues read the masses in the way Kony has as this issue is no different to what he does, it is all child cruelty disguised as child protection.

I was shocked to read this, I love your work, and hope you keep up the momentum.

Hope you are well.