Mental health experts call for end to locking up, restraining patients

Posted on December 27, 2013

Mental health experts are calling for the end to the practice of locking up and restraining patients in hospitals during mental breakdowns.

Children as young as seven are being routinely held down by hospital staff and thrown into seclusion rooms in public hospitals across Australia.

Beau Turner, the mother of seven-year-old Saxon, saw her son held face down by five staff members.

"If he was 'extra bad' they would then chuck him on the floor there and then and put him in like a hand-restraint, usually with his arms behind his back and two people would sit side by side and hold him, sometimes with a towel over his head".

Mental Health Commission chairman Professor Allan Fels says the organisation has had more complaints about seclusion and restraint than anything else.

"It is a sign of a mental health system not working well, when so many people have seclusion and restraint," Professor Fels said.

The Mental Health Commission is calling on Australians to sign a petition calling for the elimination of seclusion and restraint of all patients in the healthcare system.

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Source material from ABC