ACTION AGAINST THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH - IN SUPPORT OF TRISTAN DIMER
In the early hours of December 16th 2012, Tristan Dimer was grabbed by police and taken to Graylands Hospital after they had mistaken him for another Aboriginal man who had earlier walked off the grounds without being noticed. The man had been a low security patient who was placed in Graylands after he refused to take medication for his mental illness.
Once Tristan was taken to Graylands he was administered a dangerous drug for schizophrenia that can cause serious complications. The drugs were meant for the missing patient and Tristan was told that he had to take them. Not once did a staff member check his identity. The effect of the medication on Tristan was so severe that he only remembers waking up the emergency unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. It was only then that the medical staff discovered that the police had not only detained the wrong man, but that Graylands Hospital had administered the medication to the wrong man. Tristan was discharged from hospital with no assistance to return to his home. Several days later he was picked up by police again and taken to Graylands under a seven-day court-imposed hospital order. However Tristan was kept in a locked ward at Graylands until the 29th January this year.
On hearing of this shocking series of incidents, the Nyoongar Tent Embassy marched to the Minister for Mental Health’s office on January 3rd and demanded that they be put in contact with the patient.
The Nyoongar Tent Embassy also emailed the Minister for Health, the Minister for Police and the Ombudsman. The requests were successful and Tristan was able to get in touch with the Nyoongar Tent Embassy to speak over the phone.
Jan Mayman, who was able to visit Tristan while he was in Graylands, recently wrote an article for the Sunday Times, which outlined the catalogue of errors and mistreatment. There has still been no decision on compensation for Tristan by the Mental Health Minister, Helen Morton, six months after the incident, and despite a public statement by the Minister for Police, Liza Harvey, that compensation would be forthcoming.