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Government and Coalition continue to stall on mental health

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 16 Nov 2010

The Australian Greens have expressed disappointment that the Senate did not support their motion to comprehensively improve mental health funding.

“The Greens motion calls for $450 million per year of additional funding to be directed to mental health services over the next four years,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Mental Health spokesperson said today.

“Our motion included funding for early intervention for young people and those experiencing early psychosis. But we also believe there is an urgent need for primary care funding for the programs that we already know are effective, and finding more appropriate support than emergency departments and other forms of essential support,” said Senator Siewert.

“There is evidence from many community health services, such as Lorikeet in Perth or PARCS in Melbourne and Canberra that demonstrate the need for accessible services across the country.

“The Greens motion took a comprehensive approach to mental health funding to ensure that all elements of our mental health approach would be funded.

“The investment in early intervention would be over a period of 4 years which would build up the number of such early intervention centres as is considered necessary by mental health experts.

“The Greens recognise the importance of including mental health treatment strategies as part of our national health reform plan.

“Our motion looks to diversify treatment options for mental health away from the public hospitals and towards a system which provides mental health patients with specialised and more appropriate care in other locations.

“The Government needs to significantly lift investment in mental health,” concluded Senator Siewert.

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