13 Sep 2013

Amnesty fears for mental health of Australia's asylum seekers

12:45 pm on 13 September 2013

Amnesty International Australia says it remains deeply concerned for the mental health of the inmates in Australia's overseas detention camps for asylum seekers.

The camps on Nauru and the Papua New Guinea island of Manus are now housing more than 1300 people.

The first Nauru camp opened a year ago this weekend and to date none of the inmates has been declared a refugee despite Nauru government confirmation two months ago that a number had qualified.

The refugee campaign co-ordinator for Amnesty Australia, Graeme McGregor, says they have always pushed for the camps to close but in the short term they want drastic improvements made in the facilities.

"Probably one of our most extreme concerns relates to mental health. That until October this year, there will be and has been no mental support for the men in those camps and you are talking about people who are very likely to have a history of torture and trauma and they are being provided with absolutely no mental health support whatsoever."