Around one-in-ten homicides are carried out by someone suffering from a treatable psychotic disorder. Experts say that’s unacceptable. Mava Moayyed and Kim Peacock spoke to families who have suffered as a result of the lack of treatment available.
More than 20,000 people in New Zealand are suffering from a psychotic disorder right now. The vast majority are never violent, in fact, they’re far more likely to be the victims of violence.
But a small group with key risk factors – including those with a history of violence and drug and alcohol use – can suffer extreme delusions, causing them to do the unthinkable to innocent people.
Between five and seven New Zealanders are killed each year by someone suffering from a treatable psychotic disorder.
Senior forensic psychiatrist Erik Monasterio told Sunday that at-risk sufferers are increasingly missing out on psychiatric care due to under funding, a lack of resources, and disorganisation in mental health services across the country.
“The very group who present the highest risks are not receiving adequate long-term treatments. My concern is that if the chaos continues, we will see more and more adverse incidents occurring,” Monasterio said.
He said it’s only become worse since the 2019 Mental Health Inquiry and psychiatric staff are leaving public service in high numbers, at a time when they are most needed.
“It is very sad for me to observe this decay in the availability of services. Remember that you can judge any society by the way it treats its most vulnerable and that is a question that New Zealand may want to ask itself at the moment.”
There is not a Kiwi alive who can be surprised that 1 in 10 homicides are committed by someone with a treatable psychotic disorder.
You know why!
We have utterly underfunded mental health, dumped these dangerous individuals onto their exhausted families with little to no resource and called that ‘Community Care’.
We point blank refuse to tax the rich to properly fund our social infrastructure and the mentally ill are the lowest rung on the lowest health ladder.
If we wanted to prevent this, we could by taxing the rich to properly fund mental health, but we choose not to because 1 in 10 murders committed by someone suffering from a treatable psychotic disorder is a perfectly acceptable price Kiwis are prepared to pay so they can fantasise about protecting future imaginary wealth from future top tax brackets they will never earn.
It is preferable for the majority of Kiwis to protect imaginary wealth from future top tax brackets than treat mental health properly to lower murder rates.
That’s who we is now. That’s what we are.
Old Zealand beats New Zealand.
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