Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can severely affect a person’s experiences of reality.
Joseph had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia when he was 19 years old. He had a supportive family and had been managing his illness well for 24 years. However, when a change in his care providers resulted in a lack of community support and follow-up, Joseph became overwhelmed and felt alone. His mental health deteriorated, and he began missing his medications.
One day, Joseph attended a local shopping centre. He had missed his medications and described feeling like a black cloud was hanging over his head. He approached an elderly man in the shopping centre and pushed him over. Joseph was charged with Aggravated Assault.
When Joseph first contacted Ruah Legal Services he felt overwhelmed. Joseph’s lawyer was able to explain the court process and outline his options. With Ruah Legal Service’s assistance, Joseph applied to the Magistrates Court START Court program.