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Mental health: a plea for help



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Senator  Concetta Fierravanti‐Wells  Shadow Minister for Ageing   Shadow Minister for Mental Health  Liberal Senator for New South Wales 

Mental Health - a plea for help 26/10/10

The Gillard Government’s lack of action on mental health is a national shame but its lack of commitment to improving treatment and services for patients is a national tragedy.

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, said the Opposition was appalled that Mental Health Week came and went with barely a whisper from the Government.

“The Coalition offered a true alternative Mental Health Policy that was widely praised prior to the election and has this week brought on parliamentary scrutiny in the House of Representatives and the Senate to prod this recalcitrant government into action,”

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“Mental illness afflicts more Australians than almost all other health disorders and motions lodged in the House of Representatives and the Senate require the government to act on the key recommendations of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission relating to mental health.

“The Coalition calls on the government to expand the number of headspace centres to a minimum of 90 nationally, establish a network of Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPIC), provide an additional 800 beds associated with the EPPIC centres and provide extra funding to meet these commitments.

“Professor Patrick McGorry, the Australian of the Year, has described the mental health sector as ‘a very reactive, crisis driven system’.

“Professor John Mendoza resigned in June as chairman of the Government’s National Advisory Council on Mental Health but as yet a new chairman has not been named.

“Tens of thousands of patients require assistance today, not when this government deems the time is right for a feel-good headline.”