Warning: This article discusses attempted suicide and could be distressing to some readers.

A disturbing wave of self-harm has taken place at the detention centres on Manus and Nauru since the weekend's Australian federal election result.

A spokeswoman for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre told news.com.au six people have tried to take their own lives since Sunday, and all were taken to hospital.

Author, activist and Manus detainee Behrouz Boochani claims at least three of those are now in a critical condition.


"The refugees in Manus have been dumped in a high depression. I have never seen people like this before," he wrote on Twitter overnight.

He says many had been hopeful Labor would have eventually increased Australia's humanitarian intake to 27,000 refugees a year and accepted New Zealand's offer to resettle 150 asylum seekers.

However, it's clear from the Coalition's victory this will not happen — with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing cuts to overall migration numbers amid fears he may get rid of the Medevac law passed in February this year.

"The federal election had a huge negative imapact (sic) on people in Manus and Nauru," wrote Mr Boochani. "People have completely lost hope that the gov will accept the New Zealand offer."

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat has also taken to Twitter overnight, saying he has heard of two suicide attempts among Manus Island refugees since the election results were announced.

"People have lost hope & faiths (sic) completely nothing left for them," he wrote.

After his shock victory, Mr Morrison faces an uphill battle to unwind laws making it easier for asylum seekers to seek medical transfers.

After celebrating his victory, the Prime Minister has nominated repealing the so-called "medevac bill" as one of his most pressing priorities.


However, it remains unlikely the repeal will gain Senate support. Despite their re-election, the Coalition is still five seats short of the 39 it needs to pass legislation through the upper house.

And the roadblock could be costly.

The laws were passed by Labor and the independents against the Morrison Government's wishes.

They give doctors more power to recommend the transfer of sick asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru for medical treatment.

Only one person was transferred to Australia under the laws during the first month despite warnings from the Government hundreds would come within weeks.

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat says the mood has hit rock bottom on offshore detention centres. Photo / Facebook
Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat says the mood has hit rock bottom on offshore detention centres. Photo / Facebook

The Prime Minister spent $185 million reopening the Christmas Island detention centre to deter asylum seekers from "gaming the system" under the new regime.


The Budget revealed the Government, if re-elected, would try to repeal the laws and close the centre by July.

"There is no form of the medevac bill which makes our borders stronger," Mr Morrison said earlier this year.

"The only thing that I would ever seek to do is repeal it in its entirety, and the Australian people will have the opportunity to talk about that at the next election."

However, to repeal the medical transfer laws by the end of June, the Government would need to recall the current Senate, which supports the legislation. Otherwise, it would need to wait until the new Senate starts in July, missing the deadline.

But even then, the Government would still struggle to repeal the laws, which Labor and the Greens support.

The Coalition would need to convince five of six senators on the likely trimmed-down new crossbench.


However, the two Centre Alliance senators will not support unwinding the bill, leaving the Government snookered.

"Centre Alliance supported the medevac bill in the last parliament, and so we will not support it being repealed in the current one," Senator Stirling Griff told AAP on Monday.

The Morrison Government initially budgeted $1.4 billion over four years to reopen Christmas Island before slashing its forecasted spending through the plans outlined in the Budget.

News.com.au has contacted the Department of Home Affairs on the recent reports of suicide attempts.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.