Dear Editor,

Mum, Lillian Reekie deeply concerned over SA Mental Health Act

Mum, Lillian Reekie deeply concerned over SA Mental Health Act

As a Mum, I am writing to you out of concern for South Australian children. Recently I discovered that the new Mental Health Act in South Australia had been passed through Parliament and will be in use next year. This new bill can only lead to a huge increase of children on dangerous psychiatric drugs. Parental consent will not even be needed in all cases for children to be given these drugs.

My son, who is now 16, was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and Childhood Depression when he was in preschool and we were told that he needed antidepressants and amphetamines. We chose not to medicate after researching how dangerous these drugs can be. No antidepressant is authorised for use in any child under 18 in Australia for depression and antidepressants have warnings for suicidal behaviour in Australia and overseas. We discovered that the two main ADHD drugs including Ritalin are in the same class as cocaine, morphine and opium in Australia. We were horrified!

Since we discovered the truth both my husband and I have done many hundreds of seminars around Australia, including South Australia. Our aim is to help educate parents who are having challenges with their children, providing holistic information on what can be done to help a child without drugs.

I was so alarmed to see in the new mental health act that parental rights are being totally ignored. In the new bill any child could be involuntarily detained – meaning by law the child is detained in a psychiatric hospital or ward – and the child could be treated and given psychiatric drugs without the need for any parental consent. Parents could have no rights to refuse any psychiatric treatment proposed for their child and could be told they cannot take their child home. 

The new bill also does not guarantee that our beautiful children will be housed in separate wards from adults and any child could be restrained, secluded and even given electric shock treatment all without the need for parental consent. Electric shock is not banned and it can be given to children in South Australia. Electric shock can cause brain damage, memory loss and even death.

Then there is the use of reasonable force to administer treatment. The use of physical force on a vulnerable child can only make the situation worse and be extremely frightening for the child. Children need love, care and security and in my journey I found that none of these brutal treatments were needed for my son. They can only harm and not help any child.

It is so important that parents are made aware of this situation and that their concerns are then passed on to local Members of Parliament and the Mental Health Minister so that amendments are be made to this bill once it is in use to protect our children.  It was not always easy and children can be difficult but there are safe solutions.

This is such an important issue as everybody in our society has relationships with children whether they are parents, teachers, child carers or grandparents. We need non-drug solutions for our children and real help that finds and treats the cause of each problem for each child.

 As parents we need to be heard. We are not happy about the new Mental Health Act of S.A. being implemented in 2010 and this is NOT acceptable treatment of our children and cannot be tolerated.

Mental Health Act SA

Yours Sincerely,
Lillian Reekie (Qld)

8 replies »

  1. One would have to think that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World of a magic modifying pill to fix every behavioral problem has actually arrived.
    What makes it even more bizarre is how innocent and well meaning it all sounds, how insidiously helpful, as the vested interests line up to cash in on the massive prescribing of these toxic substances.
    Is it a case of the Emperor’s New clothes ?Are we all too afraid to say what we see?
    I’m with you Lillian Reekie, continue your rage against this potential social catastrophe!

  2. Lillian Reeke’s reasoned plea is totally accurate and should be repeated and heeded.
    The number of parents who’ve been bullied into harming their children with psychotropic drugs by a senseless and blindly mechanical bureaucracy is truly astounding (I’ve personally met quite a few). A law such as the above can only further empower this all too often, if not downright systemic, dysfunctional bodies, whilst leaving the ones who most understand and love the children, their parents, impotent and out of the loop. The bill only got through because it was never understood or known about by the near total majority of the state’s population. It needs to be revisited, honestly explained, and reviewed after extensive consultation with those it will affect – not the elites but the electorate at large. The real life people whom these laws are supposed to helpfully serve.

  3. Well done to Lillian Reekie. I fully agree with what she has to say, it is simply amazing that this kind of legislation can be brought into existence without people being aware of the dangers of the treatments.

    Does anyone out there understand that if this becomes law in South Australia, children will be given antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs that are not approved for use on people under the age of 18 by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) ????


  4. There is sooo much that could and probably needs be mentioned. It’s late at night so I’ll briefly mention our international UN Resolutions eg…

    * Convention on Disabilities, WHO Ottawa Charter 1986
    * Jacarta Declaration 1997
    * Australian, State & Territory Health Ministerial signatory obligations to our National Mental Health Strategy since 1992
    * Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention (PPEI) National Action Plan 2000 [I helped launch as a 2x3year NT Health Ministerially Appointed Community Advisory Group Deputy Chair in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).
    * SAPOL-Health Mental Health MOU 2006 which makes so much of this Mental Health Act 2009 too hasty eg the Liberal SA Bragg MP
    * Shadow Mental Health Ministerial “Harbouring” Amendment which had no real independent community consultation process … just Party line voting with both it seems now Family First and Independent (formerly No Pokies Independents) with minimal if not no real qualified decision making.
    * The Parliament House Plaza Room Mental Health Act 2009 Debriefing Seminar I’ve asked for has been described as “irregular and inappropriate”

    [Nothing like our SA Parliamentarians accepting responsibility for our million minds plus … I wonder about the long term sustainable mental health of our Parliamentarians too.]

  5. For decades across Australia the Government have done this to thousands of state wards. This has been well documented.
    In the year 2009 One would think this crasy science has not been deleted from practice.
    State Wards are always the Guinea pigs.
    Please all lets protect children not toucher them, thinking they will come out better, is so wrong ask us on our site, We know this practice, we were the Guinea pigs….

  6. They are now trying to push this across in the new Mental health ACT for Western Australia….

  7. We appeal to His Excellency the Governor to revise his decision to proclaim the Mental Health Act 2009 (the new Act) due 1st July this year, until the concerns of the public can be more fully addressed.
    Some concerns are that the Minster for Mental Health and Substance Abuse appears to be under the impression that the therapeutic goods act (TGA) has authorized the use of antidepressants for any child under 18 for depression. This is not so.

  8. I agree that there should be more reseach into child mental health as this hasnt never been done by governments in the last 30 years. We are run on very old policies that do not work anymore. Can you inmagine if somebody had heart seurgery of 1950s heart surgery policies the outcry of it by the public?

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