Practice Hard News Story- Covering issues related to Mental Illness (No. 2)

Hi readers!

Here is another practice at reporting on issues related to mental illness. As it is such a complex and important topic to report respectfully, we had another attempt at it.

Please have a read…


Community Welfare has released confidential information about the future owner of the Smith Day Care Centre.

Parents from the centre were told the daughter of the current owner has experienced schizophrenia.

The woman has worked at the centre for a number of years and was unaware her medical history would be made public.

Some parents are “outraged” they were only told yesterday.

“She has been left alone with our kids for hours at a time,” a parent said.

“God knows what could have happened all these years.”

Others parents are unconcerned.

“She’s always been great with the kids,” one mother said. “And they love coming here.”

A Community Welfare spokesperson said any “risk to children’s safety” had to be taken “very seriously”.

“It is our policy to talk to people whenever there is a proposed change that might affect them,” Doris Anderson said. “That’s why we were talking to parents.”

Psychiatrist Dr Phillips said schizophrenia is “a very complex and serious illness which affects many people in different ways”.

“It can’t be cured,” said Dr Phillips. “But people can recover and lead reasonably normal lives.”

Dr Phillips said there is a “slight increased risk of violence” but those with schizophrenia are “more likely to harm themselves than anyone else”.

“We can’t predict violent behaviour in anyone, whether they have a mental illness or not,” Dr Phillip said.

If you or someone you know needs support regarding mental illness, contact the SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or the Mental Health Advice Line on 1300 280 737.

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