Four Corners - Out of Mind

They might not know it, but the politicians of NSW have some new neighbours... Just near the Parliament building, a small community of homeless men has sprung up, drawn by the protection it offers from swirling winds. As the MPs argue deficits and cost-cutting, the homeless assemble nightly to swap stories and sleep rough.

Many of these men suffer mental illness, such as Sid who has been on the streets for 20 years. Sid is schizophrenic and off his medication; he roams with an imaginary family of spirits... Wendy, Crystal, Pearl and Snow. Sid and thousands like him drift constantly between the street and homeless shelters. For many who cannot get the psychiatric care they need, jail is their new asylum.

Sid is one face of the mentally ill and homeless in 21st century Australia. So is Brett, also schizophrenic, suicidal and homeless for the past 10 years, who is trying to get his life together through music and medication. And Mark, who waited nine years for public housing and now dreams of getting off the pension and into a real job.

This observational film looks also at the workers on the frontline whose job is to pick up the pieces of a broken policy... the manager at a shelter where up to 80 per cent of residents have mental illnesses; the welfare workers who spend their nights wrangling beds for homeless men and women; the live-in boarding house manager who, without training, must dispense medication to dozens of people in his care; and the police, who deal with the crime and the psychotic episodes.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Producer: 
Production Year: 
2005
Duration: 
45 mins
Series Episode
Standard $165
Schools $88
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