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HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing


Hi Everyone, thanks for the add, this is my first post Smiley Happy

A little background of us... I am the sister of a man that was diagnosed with paranoid delusional schizophrenia 5yrs ago, where Dad and I are the objects of alot of his paranoia etc.
Mum died 10yrs ago and he says she tells him things and confirms his grandeous delusions. Eddie MacGuire has now been listed by him as his 'next of kin' instead of Dad and I... luckily the staff are not taking that seriously!

He is currently in the mental health care unit for the past 8wks. He was taken off the mental health medication order (without our knowledge) for over 12mths, before he flipped and the guy that was running the share home he was in, called the cops as my brother started ruining the walls and doors.

He has a gambling, drugs and drinking problem, has never been good with money at any point of his life and we are looking at getting state trustees to step in and control his living expenses from his pension, and the substantial inheritance both he and I are about to get from our Grandma who passed away recently. He is sure we are doing this to take control of him, of course.
My appeal to you all is to find out from others who have been thru a similar situation with their loved ones, and how best to prepare for the hearing, to give us the best oportunity to be successful

Thanks for reading



Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Hi Terri-Ann, welcome to the forum. Sanfran here, I am a forum moderator who covers some nightshifts. I also work on the drug, alcohol and gambling helplines and was as support worker for Gambler's Help for 3 years.

The helplines support family members of substance users and people with gambling problems as they carry a big burden over a long time period. So if you ever need a debrief you can call Directline on 1800 888 236 and Gambler's Helpline 1800 858 858, 24/7.

As for  the VCAT hearing, I have had callers and clients who have been under State Trustees or have family members who are, and once you get through the hearing life will be a lot easier in terms of your brother's finances, although not in terms of your brother's angst at 'being controlled'! 

I haven't been involved in an actual hearing, so not sure of the specific process. I have talked with people at State Trustees and they seem OK and helpful so could be a good source of guidance. And I am sure there are forum contributors who have good advice to offer.

Best wishes






Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Hi @Furrballz

How are you? We've not heard from you since your first post, so I thought I'd check-in to see how things are with your brother?

Hope you are and your family are doing ok during what sounds like a pretty stressful situation.



Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Thanks for answering Sanfran

Today was the hearing at the court. My brother had a lawyer with him, who was successful in getting a adjornment in over 4wks time.
I am very frustrated as the lawyer controlled him and his paranoia and bad behaviour was controlled. Apparently this occured at the hearing he had a few weeks ago when he contested having electric shock therepy and he was controlled enough for them to agree he doesnt need it Smiley Sad
He made sure that he threw alow of crap at me and my husband calling us evil and not having his best interests at heart... I did my best to ignore it... but it does hurt!

I am not coping very well at all... I am doing my best to cope and function... go to work etc... but I admit I am struggling... alot!!

I have alot of pressure on me with my Gma passing recently and then 5wks later, one of my aunts suicided... another aunt needs my support and I havent been there (according to her) ... My daughter is heading into exams too .. I have given up studying my masters at the moment and am just trying to keep upright.

All I want to do is make sure my brother is going to be safe when he is discharged from hospital... and if he keeps on insisting he knows best, he wont Smiley Sad 


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Geez @Furrballz you are dealing with soooo much right now. I think it's only natural to feel like your struggling. 

Have you got support for you? Things sound pretty stressful. It seems like it was a wise decision to put your Masters on hold while things are up in the air. 

That's a real shame that your Aunt doesn't acknowledge your grief in your other Aunty's passing. Suicide can feel like big loss, and it can be so hard to make sense of. Some people deal with it differently. Remember, that your Aunt's words about you 'not being there' is not a reflection of you, but more where she is at right now. 

During times like this, it's very easy to go into problem solving and attempt to get everything sorted. Of course, problem solving is important but remember to look after you too. Self-care is so important.

@Janna has recently managed a stressful time caring for her son, and during it practiced some self-care. Perhaps she can provide some insights here.


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Thanks Cherrybomb, it is a very stressful time.
I am also working part-time, where my Dad is my boss... and I LOVE working with him and being his main support. He has said a few times to me that he is very pleased and proud to have a daughter like me there for him. We lost Mum 10yrs ago to cancer at 59yo. She was there for my first breath ... and I was there for her last breath. I have asked MIND and registered for some counselling for me and I am waiting to get up to the top of the list. I just hope it settles a little... but I think I will be in for a rocky weekend as my brother now has copies of his medical records and everything that was going to be tabled at the hearing... he wont react well to seeing his diagnosed illness on paper... I think he will be in the high dependancy unit again, or he will run away from the hospital for the 3rd or 4th time... because HE isnt the one that is ill.. it is all come about by Dad and l *sigh* 


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Hi Furrballz

It sounds like tough times. I’m glad you’re on the waiting list for counselling from Mind. Carers Australia also offer free counselling for carers if you need another option. You can also call Griefline from 12 noon to 3am if you would like to talk to someone about the loss of your Grandma and Aunt.

It sounds like you and your Dad are doing a great job under very difficult circumstances. Is there anything you can do to look after yourself over the weekend?


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Well.. my brother is being discharged today as he has found accomodation in a share house, near Dad
We have some MAJOR reservations that he should be released.. but he is

I am going to pick him up from the hospital and supervise him getting his stuff from Dads. If he carries on, I will call the Police to come and watch him remove his stuff and only his stuff.

Already stressing over being around him... but I am prepared... I hope! 


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing


I have struggled in the big sister role caring for my (sometimes out of control) brother too.

I hope the move goes reasonably. @Furrballz.

It is great that you hold it together for your family when things are tough.


Re: HELP with upcoming VCAT hearing

Well.. update to today..

Brother Successfully had the original date postponed to day. So we are off to VCAT again to ensure he is being looked after for his living expenses. Sad to say he is still finding it hard to organise himself on his pension, he has been around to either dad or my place several times a week for food.

He has also been kicked out of 2 share room places, placing alot of strain on me needing to trawl thru the internet finding rooming places for him to move into... hopefully he has found one now and will move in asap.

This is such a strain, not made easier by other family matters that seem to want to drive a wedge between my husband and I... which is succeeding :/

I am supposed to be heading back to study to continue my Masters in Commerce... but am not sure I can cope right now, I feel like I am walking on a cliff edge   

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