Is zero-tolerance to violence a zero-sum game?

Perceptions of 'dangerousness' and issues of equity in mental health settings.

Research into risk in mental health settings typically portrays consumers as violent, and fails to acknowledge violence potentially perpetrated by staff and services. Yet consumers of mental health institutions also experience services as dangerous, in relation to compulsory treatment, restrictive practices, and rights violations. Associated practices are rarely viewed as violence, and ‘zero tolerance’ policies do not apply to such sanctioned acts by staff.

This project will explore differing perceptions of 'dangerousness' held by consumers and nurses, including perceptions about themselves and others. It aims to inform more equitable approaches to understanding 'dangerousness' for all people in mental health settings.

Associate Professor Bridget Hamilton [Department of Nursing]

Vrinda Edan [School of Health Sciences]

Cath Roper [School of Health Sciences]

Claire Loughnan [School of Social and Political Sciences]

Professor Stuart Kinner [School of Population and Global Health]

Indigo Daya [Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council]

Hamilton Kennedy [Orygen]

Lyn Mahboub [Curtin University]

Tim Heffernan [South-Eastern NSW Primary Health Network]

Rachel Gwyther [Monash Health]

Nino DePasquale [Barwon Health]

Helen Makregiorgos [Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service]

For information about this project, please contact:

Bridget Hamilton
Department of Nursing
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Phone: +61 3 9035 4224

Email: bh@unimelb.edu.au