The Federal Government needs to provide the "best possible care" to prevent cases of self-harm in detention centres, Bishop Joseph Grech, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for refugee and migrant issues, told The Catholic Weekly.
"When it comes to asylum seekers and refugees, we're dealing with complex issues and complex people," he said.
"Their problems are compounded by being held too long in detention centres. It's going to play up on their emotions leading to depression, despair and suicide.
"Therefore we need to provide every possible care that we can to prevent situations of self-harm occurring in detention centres in the future."
The Age newspaper had reported that the Federal Government failed to implement a suicide prevention program at Sydney's Villawood detention centre for months after its advisory group recommended it.
The Immigration Department confirmed the long-awaited Psychological Support Program began at Villawood last week.
The program, which identifies high-risk candidates for self-harm and reconnects them with activities, replaced a punitive policy of isolation and heightened surveillance.
Govt urged to improve refugee care, halt self-harm (The Catholic Weekly)
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