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Statement following Bondi Junction attacks

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
16 April 2024

I haven't stopped thinking about what happened in Bondi over the weekend. It feels like an appropriate time to talk about mental illness now that we know more.

We've learnt from the family of the man responsible for the Bondi Junction attacks that he was living with schizophrenia. I'm deeply saddened that we are living in a society where someone can become so disconnected from his support networks, community and mental health care.

It's clear from the inquiry I'm chairing into community mental health services that the public mental health system is so under-resourced that it's reactive and crisis-driven rather than able to provide assertive continuous care to people with complex and chronic illnesses.

We know that people living with schizophrenia are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, not perpetrators. Many people with schizophrenia participate fully in community life including work when they are well supported with medication and psychosocial supports. The longer someone with schizophrenia goes without support, the more intense psychosis can become and the harder it is for them to seek help.

My thoughts are with the victims, their families, and witnesses of this awful violence and with our excellent first responders.

It's been really difficult seeing some groups jump on these tragic circumstances to push a divisive political agenda, as well as the spread of misinformation and sensationalist reporting.

I hope that at such a difficult time we can come together, look after one another and build a stronger community, not one more divided.

 

Media contact: Josh Appleton - 02 9230 2566 - [email protected]

 

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
16 April 2024
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