File image.
File image.

Department to investigate claims of mental health cover-up

THE Immigration Department has promised to look into claims of a cover-up of mental health issues among children in Australia's detention centres made today.

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Young, who for three years worked for a detention centre service provider claimed that figures on the of mental health problems at detention centres were "withdrawn" from publication by the department.

He alleged the data collected by service providers was given to the department, but the reaction was "negative", and the department asked them to withdraw them from publication.

However department secretary Martin Bowles said he was not there, but that if the department's staff did an "inappropriate thing", he would look into it.

"I am not doubting Dr Young. We will look at this," he said.

The claims were made during a hearing of the Australian Human Rights Commission national inquiry into children in onshore detention centres.