An informative exhibit on human rights problems in the psychiatric system opens for 5 days starting Tuesday 27th February. The Exhibit highlights the little-known facts about the potentially harmful side effects of psychiatric drugs, restraint, seclusion and electroshock and the lack of informed consent. Despite the more than 80 psychiatric drug warnings issued by the Australian Government, a staggering 1.1 million Victorian adults and children were on psychiatric drugs in 2021/22.

The exhibit, produced by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR), is being held at The Chapel, 333 Swanston Street Melbourne ( corner Swanston & Little Lonsdale, opposite the State Library).

One topic covered by the exhibition is electroshock (ECT). This is the application of hundreds of volts of electricity applied to the head, creating the equivalent of a grand mal seizure. It can cause brain damage, heart attack, memory loss, worsening of “psychiatric symptoms” and even death. A total of 29,165 Medicare-funded electroshocks were given in 2023 in Australia.

The United Nations advised Australia in 2019 to “Prohibit the use of non-consensual electroconvulsive therapy on the basis of any form of impairment”. Also, both the United Nations and World Health Organisation issued their Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation guidance and practice document in October 2023, calling electroshock an “irreversible intervention” which can cause memory loss and brain damage. It also stated, “ECT is not recommended for children, and this should be prohibited through legislation.”

Victoria remains out of step and in the dark ages with its treatment with no bans in place to prevent the use of ECT on children. It can also be forcibly given to involuntarily detained Victoria patients without their consent.

This exhibit features 10 display panels that incorporate audio-visual presentations depicting key concerns and topics of human rights abuses in the mental health system with statements from psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, legal and human rights experts, and victims of psychiatric brutalities. It traces the origins of psychiatry to today and features the potentially devastating effects of psychotropic drugs, especially in relation to children.

The exhibition provides practical guidance for lawmakers, doctors, lawyers, human rights advocates, parents and the general public to take action to help protect themselves, their families and others from the abuses rampant in the mental health system as well as advocate for changes to bring dignity and human rights to the field of mental health.

People visiting the FREE exhibit can obtain free copies of CCHR’s documentaries including, “Psychiatry: Friend or Foe? The Untold Story of Australian Psychiatry.”

TOUR TIMES: Tuesday 27th February – Friday 1st March 2024, 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday 2nd March 10 to 3 pm

VENUE: The Chapel, 333 Swanson Street, Melbourne ( Cnr Swanson & Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne)

Footage within the exhibition is rated MA 15+ Strong Themes, Surgical Procedures.

/Public Release.