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Growing calls for overhaul of mental health system after CBD attack

As investigations into the Sydney CBD stabbing attack continue, there are calls for an overhaul of our mental health system.

The Daily Telegraph reports Ney, 20, was in the psychiatric ward at Blacktown Hospital receiving treatment for a drug overdose.

It’s believed he absconded in the days before allegedly murdering Michaela Dunn and stabbing another woman.

Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park says patients are slipping through the cracks too often.

“There is not enough monitoring, not enough support for families who are looking after these people and not enough acute services in our hospitals for people to access when they need it most.”

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Rita Panahi and Steve Price say it’s clear the current system isn’t working.

The 1982 Richmond Report marked the end for Sydney’s mental asylums when the NSW Government eventually closed them down in favour of smaller, more specialised services.

Rita says something has to change.

“Now it seems the balance has completely gone, in what’s seen as the best interest of those afflicted with those issues but what about community safety?

“These places sometimes they have the requirement… that you can’t be drug-affected, you can’t be alcohol affected, so a lot of these people don’t take up those services because they’re not sober.

“We’ve got to do something about that. I think at the end of the day it means the civil libertarians might be up in arms because some personal freedoms might be infringed upon, but I think community safety has really been dismissed for too long, there needs to be a correction there.”

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