Researchers say a new report on the mental health of refugees backs the Federal Government's decision to greatly reduce its use of mandatory detention.
The study from the University of New South Wales examined problems faced by 700 Iraqi refugees between 2003 and 2007.
Co-author Zachery Steel says it shows rates of mental illness such as depression increased dramatically, the longer the refugees spent in detention.
"This is profound clinical depression that lasts for many weeks and people are highly disabled every day," he said.
"Rates of depression up to 40 per cent of people who'd been there for over six months."
Year in detention 'excessive'
The lack of judicial review has meant that women and children had been held unreasonably, the report said.
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