Hi I’m Michelle McCreight and I am currently being detained at the Forensic Hospital in New South Wales. This is my first personal webpage and I feel honoured to be the first person presented on iExpress.
I love to sing and write songs and poems. My favourite songs vary with my mood, but I do love ‘Angie’ by the Rolling Stones, ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele, and of course, ‘Far Away’ by Nickleback! When I was at Cumberland hospital, I had many friends who were interested in music as well. We used to sing together, holding concerts and singing at a coffee shop that is open for the patients.
I have been in the system for seventeen years. In 1996, I killed someone. I was found not guilty in September 1998 of murder by reason of mental illness. I feel horrified now at what happened.
They held me in the Uralla ward of Cumberland Hospital, and then was moved to the Bunyah ward. Within 18 months, I was granted ground leave as they accepted that I was not dangerous. Later, I was allowed to move to a cottage, as I had gained the trust of the hospital staff after a time.
Several years later, I was forced to return to the hospital. However, I was released again since it was a minor breach and I had broken no laws. In mid 2011 I was granted conditional release from the hospital and stayed in a private rental terrace house in Lilyfield. While on conditional release, I entered into a relationship with another patient, breaching one of my release conditions.
At this time, I suffered a miscarriage, and had stopped taking my medication. I then missed one of my mandatory appointments with my health team to monitor my condition. I had been given a dog by my children. He was a German Shepherd/Staffy mix named Scrapster. When an officer from my health team visited to check to see if I was ok, Scrapster ran out the door. He was torn and cut when he returned. The officer saw this and my instability and I was worried about being taken away by the police, so I left.
After 7 days, I gave myself up to police. I was not charged, but in October of 2011 I was moved to the High Security Forensic Hospital. I have been there ever since.
I want to go home and spend time with my family.
I have been voted as a representative of my ward to speak on their behalf at a weekly User Forum, where I advocate on relevant issues in the hopes that some positive changes will come around.
The main issues that I emphasise in the Forum are the bed shortages for patients – particularly for women – and the disregard in providing sufficient and nutritious meals to the patients. We pay 85% of our pensions just on rent and yet we still have to pay for essential items. We receive a substandard supply of food that is low on nutritious value.
I have also made suggestions regarding the use of walkmans for longer hours for women and a clothing storage area. I would also like to see an increase in the extra-curricular activities available for women, such as cooking.
Aside from my advocacy work with the User Forum, I am also concentrating on study while I am here. I have recently passed my RSA course (Responsible Service of Alcohol), and I’m about to start my RCG course (Responsible Conduct for Gaming) for club work. When I am released I hope to start working as soon as possible
I have also been taking part in Creative Writing Groups.