24 Jul 2019

Hundreds of Manus, Nauru refugees seeking mental help

5:07 pm on 24 July 2019

Hundreds of refugees are seeking help for mental health problems each month at medical centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

The sick refugee at Lorengau Hospital.

A sick refugee at Lorengau Hospital. Photo: Facebook

The Guardian reported the figures were contained in a report by the Independent Health Advice Panel.

The panel, which oversees medical transfers, said there were 1134 primary health consultations, 472 mental health consultations and 375 specialist consultations performed at the refugee clinic on Manus in the first three months of the year.

Seventeen people were admitted to the island's Lorengau hospital, mainly for mental health conditions.

In Nauru over the same period, 5908 consultations to 237 people were provided at the Nauru detention centre's medical centre, and 2352 at the IHMS settlement clinic. "The commonest reason for consultation was for psychological reasons."

Forty-three people were admitted to the medical centre, the majority for mental health concerns.

After six years, about 800 people remain in indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru.

The findings underline what has been described as a mental health crisis in Australian offshore detention.

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