More than 27 suicide attempts in two weeks

December, 2018

There have been more than 27 suicide attempts in the last two weeks by refugees detained on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, a refugee says.

Abdul Aziz Muhamat has called for action to resolve the mental health crisis from the Australian parliament, which is considering a bill to ease the transfer of sick refugees from Manus and Nauru to Australia.

Mr Muhamat said the crisis among about 600 men in exile on Manus was spiralling out of control.

"As someone who has been on Manus Island for five years I have never seen people in that stage. Within two weeks we had more than 27 who have attempted to kill themselves.

This is absolutely disgraceful and it's getting out of our control." he said.

"The reason why people are attempting to kill themselves is because people are hopeless, people are tired. Six years of incarceration, six years of languishing behind bars, six years of no process and six years of not knowing even where to go and what to do. Not knowing even what your future looks like.

"This disaster needs an intervention from the government before it's too late."

The crisis is snowballing, affecting him and others who previously cared for the sick, Mr Muhamat said.

"As someone who is witnessing this sort of atrocity and tragedy its absolutely affecting me mentally and sometimes even I get traumatised," he said.

After two suicide attempts and a serious act of self harm on Monday, the refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said it was clear the mental health crisis on Manus was escalating.

Source: Scoop