WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
This article discusses suicide and self-harm
There have been more than 70 attempts of self-harm and suicide by refugees and asylum seekers - including one who set himself on fire - living on Manus Island since the recent federal election, according to those detained on the island.
One woman close to several of these men is the Bega Valley's Eve Hofstetter, who works with refugees on the Manus and Nauru Islands as well as Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, offering emotional support and liaising with groups to assist them in getting medical help or phone credit.
She has travelled to Port Moresby to support refugees in person, and she has been in contact with some for five years.
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"I have seen the deterioration over the last few years in these men," she said.
"Almost all of them have some form of PTSD and they have been neglected.
"Some men harm themselves because they have kidney issues, they are in pain, or have issues that can't be dealt with in Papua New Guinean hospitals.
"I don't think anyone is equipped to deal with this avalanche of suicide attempts."
Ms Hofstetter said the refugees had "lost hope" since the election that saw the Liberal National Coalition re-elected, as they were hoping a Labor government would support a change in policy to allow them to move off the islands.
She said not one of the men who fled from their home countries did so with any other choice.
"Some men left because they lost family members to the Taliban, terrorists, or their governments," she said.
"Others had to leave because they were persecuted by their governments - there's quite a few gay men on Manus."
Ms Hofstetter is currently in regular contact with six men - who are African, Iranian and Kurdish - one who was in a serious condition in a Port Moresby hospital while most of the rest were on Manus.
Of those, one was distraught because his father had died last year, but he was unable to go to his funeral.
Now the man had learned his mother was unwell, but he was unable to reach her due to the unrest in his home country.
The Bega District News asked Ms Hofstetter to share the thoughts of some of the six men.
One, who cannot receive the medical treatment he requires in Papua New Guinea, said:
"I really don't have any hope [for] the future after this election. It was our chance to get free from here, but we lost this chance and it's making me crazy with too much stress and bad thinking about killing myself."
Another, who had attempted suicide twice, was kept in accommodation without medical supervision but watched by guards and was given medications by a visiting nurse. He said:
"Hi Eve good morning. I would like to thank you for trying to help me and I'm sorry because I don't listen to you because I'm tired physically and mentally today. I [want] to end my life, forgive me."
In another message, he said:
"Today I feel not good again. I can't control my mind. So tired. I hurt myself again. The medicine make[s] me dizzy. I can't move [my] body."
Ms Hofstetter said ways to assist the refugees detained by the Australian government included writing letters to MPs on the topic, calling the Minister for Home Affairs to register your concern, or supporting Gifts for Manus and Nauru.
Refugee Week runs from June 16 to 22.
If you have been impacted by any of the issues in this article, please contact one of the services below:
The refugees on Manus are struggling to combat with high level of depression and stress in last 24 hours five men have attempted suicide & self-harm. The numbers of suicide attempted and self-harms on Manus have gone beyond the limit of our understanding and how can we help them— Abdul Aziz Adam (@Abdulaziz_Ada) June 18, 2019
On this World Refugee Day, the 6th since the offshore camps of #Manus & #Nauru were established, our message to the Aus Govt is simple. End the tragedy on Manus Nauru that is occurring under Australia’s watch. Honour the UN Convention, stop this suffering & be more compassionate— Shamindan (@Shamindan1) June 19, 2019