27 Jul 2009

More support and supervision urged for mentally ill on release

8:56 am on 27 July 2009

A group representing families of mentally ill people says there needs to be more support and supervision available when they are released from psychiatric institutions.

Stephen Anderson, 37, who killed shot and six people and wounded four others at Raurimu in 1997, has been granted limited release from a secure psychiatric facility.

He was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder on the grounds of insanity.

He had been in a secure psychiatric facility, in Porirua, but has now been granted limited release, subject to strict conditions.

Mental health director Dr David Chaplow says Mr Anderson is no different to any other special patients.

But the Caring Communities group is worried about who will take responsibility if something goes wrong.

Secretary Patricia Perkins says the life-long nature of some mental illnesses means the community is not the best place for everyone and there needs to be more support and supervision available.