June 10th 2006

  Buy Issue 2733

Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Timor crisis - Alkatiri's murky role

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Will Snowy Hydro sale create Australia's Enron?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Merger no answer to declining Nationals vote

ENERGY CRISIS: How to make Australia energy self-sufficient

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Ex-Family Court judge defends gay 'marriage'

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: The self-inflicted wounds of Premier Carpenter

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Once more unto the breach / Leaders designed by the oligarchs / Justice ... for whom? / Rules of engagement

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: Should we be ashamed of Western civilisation?

SCHOOLS: English grammar 'obsolete and irrelevant'

SEX EDUCATION: Islamic schools reject "safe sex" message

BRITAIN: Soaring oil prices push UK to go nuclear

MIDDLE EAST: Terrorism works

Misguided depiction of mental illness (letter)

Reply to Senator Webber (letter)

Anti-religious education (letter)

Minchin wrong on Snowy Hydro Scheme (letter)

HISTORY AND LITERATURE: Drama set in occupied Europe

COMRADE ROBERTS: Recollections of a Trotskyite, by Kenneth Gee QC

DEFIANT BIRTH: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics, by Melinda Tankard Reist

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Misguided depiction of mental illness (letter)

by Ruth Webber

News Weekly, June 10, 2006

I would like to express my disappointment at the outrageous comments made about the former West Australian Premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, made by Joseph Poprzeczny in the article, "WA Liberals, Nationals in self-destruct mode" (News Weekly, May 13, 2006).

Depression is a medical condition that can be treated. Claiming that his was an illness caused by his "relatively light premiership workload" and a "factionally-directed party" is both irresponsible and erroneous.

Mr Poprzeczny's comments fly in the face of the more understanding and tolerant view of depression being promoted by the chair of beyondblue and former Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett.

People suffering from mental illnesses often face an uphill battle to have their conditions taken seriously by members of the community, who confuse clinical depression with everyday stress or sadness. It is incredibly disappointing that a magazine of your quality has allowed comments like his to be printed.

It is also incredibly insulting to Dr Gallop's impressive record to imply that he left at the height of his career, after a second convincing election win, because he was unable to "cope" with a difficult job.

Please consider such comments more carefully in future, and do not allow your magazine to contribute to a misguided and harmful depiction of mental illness.

Ruth Webber,
Labor Senator for Western Australia,
Woodvale, WA

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