UPDATE: The Refugee Action Coalition have posted the contents of a handwritten letter from the asylum seeker to his caseworker – this was written 3 days ago. You can read the full post here
““I am hoping that you can provide the right solution for the mental frustration I and my family members are feeling…. These circumstances have resulted in me not being able to sleep, not able to eat or do any activities. As a brother and as a son, I have been forced to not provide the care I should. Australia has given me a controlled life within a locked area…My brother is not being given proper medication or care. Under the circumstances, if I am able to give my life in order to get him medical care, I will do that in the near future.”
Mental health and suicide are troubling subjects for all of us. It’s not for the fact that it has touched so many of our lives, it’s also the way that for something so tragic, it seems to be so preventable. There are times when a tragedy is completely preventable, and that is what makes the news we received from Villawood this morning so tragic, and even more frustrating. It was three months ago that Hayden Cooper at the ABC first raised the tragic story of mentally ill Pradeep and his brother who were facing indefinite detention on adverse security assessments. Three months ago, we posted the story on our site. For three months we have hoped for a speedy and positive resolution.
“Please, if you can, give us a good life. If you can’t do that, kill us both,” – Pradeep’s Brother, August 6 2012.
This morning we received word that Pradeep’s brother was taken to hospital after attempting to take his own life in the Villawood detention centre. This followed the news that his brother’s mental health had deteriorated substantially, and may no longer be treatable. With 3 months warning about the torturous affect detention was having on this family, the Government has failed to provide them with any certainty about their future. Despite a High Court ruling their detention invalid, the Commonwealth ombudsmen criticising the current regime and countless MP’s expressing their concern – these people still live without certainty. We send our love and support to his family at this horrible time and urge Minister Bowen to act urgently to avoid any further tragedy from behind the razor wire.
More to come….
For advice on mental health and related issues please visit BeyondBlue