Extended detention detrimental to asylum seekers’ mental health: McGorry

Asylum seekers were likely to be forced to spend extended periods in Nauru and Papua New Guinea under the government's plan because it aims to ensure that those who board boats gain no advantage over those processed through regular channels.

"It is unacceptable to cause harm, to cause damage to people's mental health in the interests of adding to the deterrence this reform is about," Professor Patrick McGorry told ABC Television on Tuesday.

He said the mental health of people in detention for six or 12 months will deteriorate.

Labor introduced legislation on Tuesday, modelled on the

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