West Australian Govt – hard hearts, soft minds – #mentalhealth – “Mentally ill being evicted from homes in Buswell’s anti-social tenant crackdown”

Mentally ill being evicted from homes in Buswell’s anti-social tenant crackdown

29 June 2011

Mentally ill Homeswest tenants are being evicted from their homes and facing homelessness as part of the government’s crackdown on “anti-social” tenants.

“Once again the government is charging ahead with a one-size-fits-all populist, but ill thought out, policy which is having adverse effects on tenants who are living with serious mental illness,” Alison Xamon, WA Greens Spokesperson on Mental Illness said.

The comments come after Ms Xamon raised the issue in Parliament last night.

“The Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy has no provisions to deal with mentally ill tenants and that’s leading to people with medical conditions being evicted from their homes for behaviours arising from their illness. Surely it would not have been that difficult for the Government to have foreseen a scenario where a mentally ill person might get caught up in this so-called “reform” and to have made the necessary amendments to deal with that. Or is it that Minister Buswell just doesn’t care about those living with a mental illness?

“This is just the latest in the growing number of government initiatives that appear to have been written on the back of a napkin over lunch, with no finesse or real thought as to the possible real-life ramifications.

“I urge the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Mental Illness to start talking about the ramifications of these policies and to begin making the detailed and difficult decisions that are needed to deal with our society’s growing and complex mental health problems. Complex problems can not be dealt with by simplistic solutions.

“Evicting the mentally ill from their homes and making them homeless as a result is scandalous and is in no way the sign of a civilized society. These people need our support, not to be left at great risk and further disadvantage. Minister Buswell has got this policy very wrong and now he needs to make it right,” added Ms Xamon.

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

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