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Mental Illness should take priority over just another bar in Fremantle

This petition had 1,153 supporters

Dr O'Daly is a Fremantle based psychiatrist who treats many vulnerable people in the community who suffer from mental illness and addiction. His current premises are at risk of being closed due to the opening of a bar next door. Many of us feel that the treatment of severe mental illness, alcohol and substance use should be considered more important within the community than the addition of another bar.

Closing a medical practice in favour of opening a bar could likely make Dr O'Daly's patients feel as though they are not valued by society. Mental illness stigma is a serious issue that patients face and the closing of his practice would only be adding to this burden.

Patient Testimony:

" Dr Kevin O’Daly, my psychiatrist, a man who saved my life and undoubtedly has saved countless others, is at risk of being forced out of his office in Fremantle because a pub is to be opened next door.

This is especially concerning considering that many people with mental illnesses turn to alcohol and substance use to cope. It takes a lot of effort to stay sober and resilient.

My Dr has been operating there for over two years, and he will be forced to leave because obviously, he cannot operate next door to somewhere serving liquor.  With issues related to alcohol and substance abuse falling well within the scope of what Dr O'Daly treats, this will create a conflicting environment for these patients, in what should be a safe refuge for healing.

I don’t want everyone to know about my business but this is so important that I want to share it. This man is the reason I survived severe mental illness and can now contribute to society. I am so thankful for that opportunity. He helps so many of the most vulnerable citizens of Perth.

I think it's outrageous and unfair, and sends the message that people with mental health issues aren’t important to the City of Fremantle; a part of Perth that is one of the more understanding, caring and beautiful.

Hundreds of patients like me are seemingly being swiped aside so people can have a beer and chill. I think there are already plenty of places to go to do that. Places that aren’t next door to somewhere where people like me like to quietly attend and keep our business to ourselves.

Dr O’Daly is not just another doctor, he is one of the most incredible health professionals I’ve had the privilege to be treated by. I have made it out of the darkest time of my life, but I know many of his patients have not and they do not deserve an additional worry. His practice, for us, can't just be replaced the way people can just go to another place to socialise.

I find this heart breaking, and implore you to consider that people like myself already feel like society doesn't understand or care too much about us. His practice is a corner of or city where we can go to be heard and understood.

I understand that real estate in Fremantle must be precious and sought after but I hope that just in this case, it can be noted that people like myself seek refuge at the end of High Street."


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