Thursday, May 20, 2010

Schapelle Corby & the CMC's Helen Couper

Dear Helen,

I'm a working mental health nurse, registered and qualified since 1978 (the year before you qualified in your profession). In that time, I've seen a thing or two, and as you've no doubt heard (along with the rest of the World), Schapelle is severely mentally ill, and at severe risk of suicide and self-harm. Dr. Jonathon Philips, who made that assessment, is the former Director of South Australia's Mental Health Services, and former President of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Psychiatrists.

She's psychotically depressed, which means she's hallucinating and delusional, and quite out of touch with reality. In this country, she would be in an acute psychiatric unit, on "Suicide watch," with an experienced RN by her side 24/7, until her psychosis and severe depression resolved. Quite honestly, its an absolute miracle she's still alive. She must have an angel on her shoulder, and in your position, you should hope and pray it stays there a little while longer.

Now, my interactions with your organisation (to date), have not been good, in fact they've been dismal. Bad on this day, and even worse the next. Quite honestly Helen, as a Registered Nurse of many years standing, if I treated the public the way some of your employees do, I would have been sacked by now, and quite rightly so.

But just like me Helen, you are subject to a code of ethics, and if you read page 7 of this document, you may agree with me (and most other reasonable people), that when one of your staff refuses to co-operate with reasonable and civilised attempts to contact him (I should NOT have had to go to lengths I did), and then puts the phone down on me mid-conversation, it greatly diminishes public confidence in your profession, and public confidence in the administration of justice.

Now, I will be calling you soon, and asking a few reasonable questions about the assessment process, and the investigation process. If you're not available, I'm more than happy to call back at your convenience, or to leave my number and take your call at a specified time. This is called "Discussion," and I do it every day (with clients), at work. That's my job, and it's yours too. Organisational policies, procedures and who-does-what-job are not state secrets, and I have a right to gather that information in a speedy and efficient manner - and as I've mentioned before, if your organisation remains as obstructive and as bizarre as it's been to date, I'll simply visit your offices, politely and peaceably ask for the reasonable information I'm seeking, then stay there until I get it.

Regards, Kim