The Queensland Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is concerned by the sensationalist media reporting by the Gold Coast Bulletin which increases stigma towards people with mental illness and mental illness itself (Cover up claims over Gold Coast mental health patients walking free, 10 October 2017).
The RANZCP Queensland Branch notes that the vast majority of patients reported as ‘dangerous’ and ‘escaped from mental health units’ do not represent a risk to the community and are more likely to be a danger to themselves.
The RANZCP Queensland Branch is disappointed the Gold Coast Bulletin saw it fit to publish the article during the nation’s Mental Health Week and on World Mental Health Day.
We call upon the Gold Coast Bulletin to adopt a more balanced approach to reporting on mental health.
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.