21 Sep
Issue Paper summary: Restrictive practices pt 2

Issue Paper summary: Restrictive practices pt 2

Download all Issue Paper versions here. 

Our previous article looked at what restrictive practices are and how they come about. Today we go deeper into the effect it has on people with disability and some ways to prevent or reduce them.  

Effects of restrictive practices 

Restrictive practices can cause serious physical harm and even death. It can lead to serious psychological harm that involves trauma, fear, depression, anxiety, and loss of dignity. 

It can also damage relationships and trust between the person doing the practice and the person with disability receiving it. These practices are sometimes done by doctors, support workers, or teachers. It can make people feel helpless and powerless. 

As restrictive practices can happen from early childhood, it can cause trauma that affects the person with disability throughout their life.  

People have different opinions about these practices. Some people consider this a type of violence that only happens to people with disability. While others think that they need to be used to keep people safe.  

First Nations people and those from CALD backgrounds are also at high risk of being restricted. 

Alternative practices 

Many disability advocacy groups and individuals think that restrictive practices aren’t needed and should be illegal. Research shows that they can be avoided by looking at what causes the behaviours of concern and managing their needs. 

This can be done with: 

  • Providing better support 
  • Using person-centred planning 
  • Getting rid of barriers in the environment 
  • Reducing risks in a range of settings, like in health facilities and group homes 
  • Taking a recovery-oriented approach 
  • Using a care plan written by the person with disability on how they’d like to be treated 
  • More support for service providers and individual advocacy 
  • Introducing measures in organisations to avoid restrictive practices 

The Royal Commission welcomes people with disability, their families, carers, and the general public to share their experiences of restrictive practices. If you want to make a submission you can do so here. 

Our last section provides some questions to help you share your story. If you’d like to contact the Royal Commission you can do so via email or at 1800 517 199. 

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