Psychiatrist sent to Manus to deal with mental issues


A psychiatrist has been posted to Manus to attend to refugees who need help at the detention centre, says Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha.
“A psychiatrist is now at the centre after I raised concern with the Australian Department of Home Affairs about the mental situation of the refugees,” he said.
Kantha said the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (PNGICA) was doing its best to assist those experiencing mental illness, both refugees and non-refugees. “I have discussed with our counterparts from the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force to priorities mental health support for the men on Manus,” he said.
“They had discussions with the health service provider (and) a psychiatrist was deployed (to be) based in Manus to assist.
“Mental health is a priority for PNGICA and we will continue to ensure adequate services are provided to those requiring assistance.”
Kantha said the United State had accepted eight more refugees for resettlement.
“We had another eight refugees accepted under the US resettlement programme who left the country on Sept 18, bringing a total of refugees resettled to the United States to 121,” he said.
“We are expecting to see more refugees resettled in the US.
“ I would like to thank the US Government and the support of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for facilitating this process to see the refugee caseload in Papua New Guinea reduced.”
He urged those assessed non-refugees and not owed protection to return to their countries.
“They have no legal basis to remain in the country. They must take up the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme offered by IOM before the Government enforces the detention of non-refugees.”