Exercise #7: Mothers protesting against re-registration of day care

Three women have protested against the re-registration of the day care centre their kids attend.

The mothers are concerned about the mental illness of the applicant.

Community Welfare Spokesperson, Ms Anderson, has confirmed the Welfare has received an application from an individual in relation to the day care service presently operated by Joan Smith.

“All I can say at the moment, is that no decision has been made,” Ms Anderson said.

The applicant’s mother who currently runs the day care confirmed the application and the mental illness of her daughter who has been helping out in the day care centre in the past 10 years.

Ms Smith said her daughter having schizophrenia was terrible, but she takes medicine and “hasn’t had any problems in years”.

The protesting mothers acknowledged Debbie Smith’s good work, but were angry no one told them about her mental illness.

“We should have known about her so that we could decide whether or not we’re going to risk it,” one mother said.

The Welfare Community checks the application very carefully, said Ms Anderson, but “we don’t screen those who assist in family day care services, only those who actually apply to run them”.

Psychiatrist Dr Phillips said Schizophrenia can’t be cured, but people can recover and lead reasonably normal lives.

“Between 25 and 40 percent of people who have a psychotic episode recover and never have another one,” Dr Phillips said.

The most common symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, wearing or seeing things that aren’t there, and confusing thoughts.

“There is a slight increased risk of violence. But, there’s more risk of violence with drug or alcohol abuse than mental illness,” Dr Phillips said.

People of schizophrenia are more likely to harm themselves than anyone else, though they are unlikely to harm themselves if they have proper care, said Dr Phillip.

“I can’t guarantee that a person with schizophrenia will not become violent,” Dr Phillips said, “but you have to remember we can’t predict violent behaviour in anyone whether they have a mental illness or not.”

If you believe to have a mental illness please consider to contact the Adult Specialist Mental Health Service. Visit their Website on http://www.health.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth/services/adult/index.htm to find out who takes care of your area. They can provide confidential emotional support.

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