We are extremely excited and proud to announce the release of our Seclusion Report #2 (2020) and Seclusion and Restraint Position Statement.
The unnecessary and widespread use of restrictive practices such as seclusion in mental health treatment is an issue of major concern for our organisation.
In 2019, we wrote our Seclusion Report #1 to make information about seclusion more consumer friendly. We believe people have a right to know how safe their local hospital is.
Our Seclusion Report #2 (2020) continues to service this goal by providing an updated snapshot of how often hospitals are using seclusion and other harmful/restrictive practices.
We produce these reports as we believe that Victorian public mental health services and hospitals should be held accountable for their use of seclusion. These reports serve to provide insight to support health consumers to understand the current state of mental health care.
The information in this Seclusion Report #2 (2020) is freely available on various government websites. It is often difficult, however, to find and understand what this data actually means for consumers. For example, some reports use the name of catchment areas (e.g., ‘Inner Urban East’) instead of hospital names (e.g., ‘St Vincent’s Hospital’). Our Seclusion Report #1 (2019) created pressure for change and accountability by making this information more accessible, and this updated Report aims to do the same.
Our Seclusion Report #2 (2020) has an added focus on how seclusion rates have changed in the year since the 2019 Report was released. We hope to continue encouraging accountability in Victoria’s public hospital system, as our Report shows that seclusion is still frequently used.
Change is still needed.
Alongside our Report and statement, we are also sharing a petition to #EndSeclusion, gathering signatures from across Victoria to share with parliament.
Both the Office of Psychiatrist and the Head of the Mental Health Branch support and are dedicated to the elimination of seclusion:
“The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (OCP) acknowledges that the experience of seclusion causes distress. Working towards elimination of restrictive practices, including seclusion, is a priority. The Chief Psychiatrist partners with VMIAC, Tandem, workforces clinical and lived experience, unions and educational institutes in the Chief Psychiatrist’s Restrictive Interventions Committee. The committee is working on a body of work to implement the elimination of restrictive practices.”
Media and organisation support
The RANZCP Victorian Branch wants to see a reduction and wherever possible the elimination of the use of seclusion and restraint. This must be done in a way which supports good clinical practice and provides safe and improved care for consumers, explained Chair, Dr Kerryn Rubin.