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Report on mental health services tabled in the Senate.



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THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 4842 Facsimile: (02) 6277 8581

30 March 2006 CP16/06

Report on mental health services tabled in the Senate

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, has welcomed the report on mental health services in Australia tabled in the Senate today by the Senate Select Committee.

“The report is in line with what the Government has been saying for some time, that the mental health system has failed many Australians who have a mental illness,” Mr Pyne said.

Mr Pyne thanked the work of the committee in providing such a comprehensive report and said that its findings would be taken into consideration in developing a new mental health action plan, as agreed by all members of COAG at their last meeting.

Several key aspects were identified in the COAG communiqué as requiring consideration when formulating an action plan, including: • focusing on promotion, prevention and early detection and intervention - including reducing the impact on mental health, illicit drugs such as cannabis and amphetamine-

type substances and alcohol; • getting the balance right between hospital care, community and primary care and the best type of accommodation for people who are unable to manage on their own; • improving and integrating the care system to enable the right care to be accessed at

the right time; • improving participation in the community and employment; and • increasing the health workforce available to address mental health issues, including the role of psychologists.

The Australian Government is committed to increasing and strengthening mental health services for all Australians and will be expecting the states and territories to give the same commitment to ensure genuine reform in this critical area that has been neglected for so long.

Media contact: Mr Pyne's Office 02 6277 4842