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Govt not making progress in mental health

Govt not making progress in mental health

The Mental Health Commission's report showing the Government has cut the number of mental health beds available, and is way under target on increasing access to mental health services, shows the Government is making no progress in mental health services, says National Disability Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

"The report says only 1.7% of people have access to mental health services, compared to the target of 3%, meaning that many desperate patients and their families still can't get help when they need it.

"The Government's Workforce Health Advisory Committee, to address staff shortages, has been just that - another committee involving more cost and more bureaucracy which has achieved nothing.

"The Health Minister has been saying for four years that she will increase access to health services and address staffing. This report shows this hasn't happened.

"Instead the number of community-based mental health beds has reduced by 299, we have had patients staying in police cells and families crying out for help but going unheard. I have encountered many stressed family members who are looking after mental health patients without the support they need.

"The Government also closed down the youth mental health facility at Hanmer with no replacement, and this report shows there has been no growth in youth services since.

"Mental health needs more than just platitudes about results which don't happen," says Dr Scott.

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