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Homeless? Mentally Ill? Try the Dickson Backpackers

By johnboy - 23 September 2010 15


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The ABC informs us that while mentally ill canberrans who have a home can access step-up step-down programs the homeless ones are told to try the Dickson Backpackers’:

The ACT Greens have expressed concern that homeless people recovering from mental illness have been sent to a Canberra backpacker hostel.

In a response to a question on notice, Health Minister Katy Gallagher has confirmed that in some cases, homeless people have been sent to Dickson Backpackers after exiting a mental health unit.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Homeless? Mentally Ill? Try the Dickson Backpackers
astrojax 12:39 pm 24 Sep 10

Chop71 said :

I wonder if that has anything to do with our house being broken into in Dickson, Our next door neighbours were robbed 3 times in a year.

Dickson = great food, bad place to live

i have friends live on the street off limestone leads up to ainslie village – they get knocked over six or seven times a year… so it could be worse!

mental health is a sadly neglected peice of public policy that doesn’t look likely to benefit from any government interventions soon, for all the noise and bluster in the recent election campaign. it is a major driver of homelessness and we needed kevin oh seven back to attack that; ginger rules jules will pay it lip service and we’ll go on with backpackers and cardboard boxes under trees filled with people in dire need and getting sfa support.

Chop71 12:07 pm 24 Sep 10

I wonder if that has anything to do with our house being broken into in Dickson, Our next door neighbours were robbed 3 times in a year.

Dickson = great food, bad place to live

MrPC 7:49 am 24 Sep 10

If you’re going to invest in bricks and mortar, invest in bedsitters for people on low (pension-like) incomes to rent. They would probably be able to live in the community except that there’s no low income rental accommodation left on the market, and much of what is on the market is designed for people living with 3 or 4 other people. Many of these people are likely to live alone, and don’t really want to share a house/flat.

And if paying their rent/bills is too much, get someone to case manage their finances who doesn’t have an interest in their accommodation revenue.

Dazzlar 11:03 pm 23 Sep 10

We need to care for these people and if that means institutionalising them, so that they are medicated, bathed, feed and decently cared for, then I am all for it.

When I lived in Qld many of the mental institutions were closed down as they were deemed “inhumane”. What happened to the patients without support was they became homeless. They ended up living rough or going from halfway house to halfway house. They were basically treated like walking dollar signs by many of the owners of the halfway houses, because their pensions were deposited into the owners trust account, and they lived in appalling conditions. It was only after a fire gutted one of these houses, killing several residents, that new laws were introduced to protect residents.

There has to be a better way of treating these people.

Mathman 8:30 pm 23 Sep 10

sepi said :

The ACT should have built a mental health facility instead of a gaol.

Yep, institutionalise them all, that’ll fix the problem.

Leinna 7:28 pm 23 Sep 10

While I don’t like the idea of sending people to a backpackers, there are no other options aside from booting them on to the street.

What we need is an asylum 🙂

The ACT is building a mental health facility, that’s why one of the many carparks the hospital has been closed off.

damien haas 5:52 pm 23 Sep 10

im sure the tourism people are real happy.

mutley 5:47 pm 23 Sep 10

Thumper said :

… I cannot believe that Gallagher knew this was happening and did nothing about it.

Really?

sepi 5:13 pm 23 Sep 10

The ACT should have built a mental health facility instead of a gaol. They could have gone crazy with human rights too, and really achieved something.

pollyanna 4:53 pm 23 Sep 10

If I recall correctly there was an incident at a city backpackers where police were called to a distressed older woman recently.

I wonder if this is another instance of ACT quality mental health care?

Thumper 4:50 pm 23 Sep 10

what an absolute and complete failure by ACT health. I cannot believe that Gallagher knew this was happening and did nothing about it.

Waiting For Godot 4:07 pm 23 Sep 10

Gee, nobody’s mentioned Ivan Milat yet …

Ryoma 3:21 pm 23 Sep 10

I would not be surprised if this was quite a common occurence for backpackers up and down the country, and beyond…

When I stayed at a backpackers’ hostel long-term in the UK, there was a mentally ill guy staying there too. He was friendly enough but would do things like leave the stove on all night…

Once again, our governments (and maybe we ourselves) have failed to give these people sufficient support…where else would we expect them to go in Canberra at present that is low-cost?

Pommy bastard 3:18 pm 23 Sep 10

Nothing better than mixing with world traveling backpackers to make someone with a mental health problem pack up their troubles in their old kit bag and smile, smile, smile….While you’ve a lucifer to light your fag,Smile, boys, that’s the style.What’s the use of worrying?
It never was worth while, so Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,And smile, smile, smile.

My arse, what an idiotic idea…

Skidbladnir 2:36 pm 23 Sep 10

So, how many actual backpackers have been impressed\confused\traumatised by the population of mental health cases they had to deal with staying there?

(And considering we’re talking about backpackers, how many mental health cases have been traumatised\confused by having to live with backpackers?)

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