No health without healthy beginnings

Ernest Hunter; 17/4/10

My father died in the locked ward of a psychiatric hospital, in circumstances that were probably worse than would have been expected in the jails of the day. I’m inherently suspicious of systems of coercive institutional so-called care – but their need has not disappeared. In the 40 years since, the “bins” have gone and much has happened to improve the ways in which institutional systems of care meet the needs of Australians experiencing mental illness. That said, there is still a long way to go and, predictably, those for whom that journey will be longest are those most disadvantaged in our society.