Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Refugee Council of Australia’s ‘Kids off Nauru’ campaign and the public support, on 28 February 2019, the last four children were departed to the US. While this a great achievement towards improving the health of refugees in Australia’s cruel offshore detention processing, there is more work to be done.
The most current offshore detention centre statistics report there are still 394 people left on Nauru and 580 in Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. This is concerning as Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have reported that detention is the most common cause of mental health conditions amongst refugees in offshore detention centres. Many of these refugees are severely ill and suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, with significant levels of self harm and suicide attempts.
“While many of our patients had experienced trauma, it was the Australian policy of indefinite processing that destroyed all their hope for the future and devastated their mental health,” says Dr Rufener (MSF).
Please join us on 14 April at the Palm Sunday Rally to show your support of refugee and asylum seeker rights and health. Our message is simple: #detentionharmshealth.