VMIAC and its members are deeply concerned by an ABC Four Corners episode ‘Don’t judge us’.
In a 60-minute episode that described people with mental health issues as malingerers, violent, and a danger to the community, the ABC failed to interview a single consumer, consumer advocate or consumer peak body.
‘At best, this is a lack of oversight and due-diligence. At worst, it is another example of consumers being marginalized and silenced when our voice matters most.‘ said CEO, Tricia Szirom.
Throughout the report there was prominent use of discriminatory and stigmatizing language, as well as calls for forced treatment that is in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability.
If consumers and consumer groups were interviewed, we would have highlighted that people diagnosed with mental health issues are much more likely to be victims of violence, and that we want radical changes to the system, not just more access to it. Unfortunately, this did not happen and consumers who watched this report were extremely distressed being portrayed in this way.
‘I was deeply disturbed by last night’s report. Our members tell every day about the abuse they experience by the system. Forced treatment, seclusion and restraint. In failing to account for consumers in their story, the media has once again demonized us and erased our concerns.’ Tricia Szirom, CEO VMIAC.
‘If the ABC plans to report on mental health in the future, it must hear from critical consumer voices, and not just the mental health industry.’ Tricia Szirom, CEO VMIAC.
We are reaching out to ABC regarding this episode explaining the above, as well as imploring them to work with us to develop an episode that tells the truth about people living with mental and emotional distress.
If yourself or anyone you know has been distressed by this report from ABC Four Corners, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.