MHDCD Project

6.4.4. Ned

Ned is an Indigenous man now aged in his forties who has an IQ of 65, placing him in the intellectual disability range. Ned has a history of mental illness including diagnoses of personality and behavioural disorders, schizophrenia and mental illness related to psychoactive substance use. He is from a regional town in NSW and moves regularly around that area of the state. He has at least six children with his partner.

Ned moved between his mother, father and other relatives’ houses when young. He stopped attending school at age 13. Ned began to have regular contact with police after leaving school for theft, malicious damage and assault, accumulating numerous incidents and custody events. His first child was born when he was 18.

As an adult Ned has lived in caravans with and without his family and has sometimes been itinerate. He often has AVOs taken out against him by his partner and constantly breaches them.  He has a serious drug habit, suffers from severe depression and often attempts suicide. He has had 53 finalised court matters, 135 police incidents and over 2,200 days in adult custody. He has been on methadone many times. He goes in and out of hospital for a range of health issues, in particular for drug and self harm matters, however doctors have regularly refused to schedule him. During a prison stay when he was 35, Ned participated in a methadone program and saw a drug and alcohol doctor and psychiatrist.

Upon release from custody, Ned lived with his mother in Sydney and underwent psychiatric treatment through the Aboriginal Medical Service. He completed the ‘Walking Together’ Program and a TAFE course. He started to apply for and receive more services and support, including the Newstart allowance. Participation on the methadone maintenance program and treatment for drug and alcohol and psychiatric problems through Justice Health marked the beginning of a change in behaviour. His subsequent psychiatric treatment through the Aboriginal Medical Service and continuation on the methadone program led to a period of desistance from offending behaviour. 

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