As a guest of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Patrick McGorry who is a leading mental health researcher as well as someone who has been forthright about these immigration detention centers visited the Christmas Island. McGorry has also been named as the Australian of the Year and is known to have described the place as a factory for mental illness.
The three detention centers present on this island of the Indian Ocean would be inspected by Professor McGorry. This also includes a camp of former worker’s where the detained include those families and children. This inspection is being carried amidst the rising focus on occurrences pertaining to self-harm and conflicts between the asylum seekers.
Professor McGorry had suspicions in prior that these detained people were most likely to suffering from mental health problems. This is because of the trauma and torture that they have undergone in their native countries.
As of now, there are approximately 2500 illegal migrants who have been detained on the Christmas Island and two boats are on the way, suspected of carrying asylum seekers. At the same time, the island gates are open for refugee advocates but the Department has never permitted a high profile mental health expert to conduct an inspection. Infact, the refugee advocates also feel that the long timelines for processing tend to affect these asylum seekers. Some of these detainees have been in here for more than a year.
McGorry has called for both the key political parties to show a moral leadership that is two-way with respect to this issue. However, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard has denied his stance on letting these detainees to be permitted to reside in the community while their claims are being processed. As per the Prime Minister, it is important that health and security checks to completed.