Manus Island mental health

Dear Prime Minister,

The physical and mental health of the people seeking asylum who are kept in PNG and Nauru by Australia has been severely damaged by their 4.5 year imprisonment. In a recent article in The Lancet the authors describe the draconian system of detention, failure to provide even basic health care and the results. In 2016 UNHCR interviewed 181 men on Manus and 90% showed severe mental health conditions such as major depression, severe anxiety disorder and probable PTSD. The UNHCR concluded that the length and indefinite detention with no settlement options had "corroded the resilience of the detainees and made them vulnerable to mental illness."

The article goes on to document the brutal withdrawal of medical services and the pretence of handing responsibility for the men's care to PNG which has neither means nor infrastructure to provide even rudimentary daily needs. The authors conclude:

If they are moved from Papua New Guinea to a safe and supportive environment, refugees could be expected to largely recover from the psychological stress and adversities they have experienced at the offshore immigration detention facility and go on to rebuild their lives. It remains the Australian Government’s responsibility to seek durable solutions for the people who seek protection in their land.
— The Lancet, 9 December 2017

It remains the Australian Government's responsibility. Amnesty now for all detained on Manus and Nauru.