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Mental health: Senate supports action

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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 â€ Senate supports action  


The Coalition is very pleased that the Senate has supported strong action on mental health.

“I would like to thank Senator Steve Fielding and Senator Nick Xenophon for their support of this very important motion,” said Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

“Labor and the Greens bleat about problems in mental health but when it came to the crunch to act today, they failed abysmally by voting against this important motion.

“The Greens used the feeble excuse of the motion not including costings but as I reminded Senator Siewert, the Greens mental health spokesman, a simple reading of the Coalition Mental Health Policy would provide all the financial details required. This excuse simply lays bare the depth of the alliance between the Greens and the Gillard Government.

“The motion will next be considered by the House of Representatives and I ask the independents to show the Australian people that they are committed to mental health reform.

“Every day patients and their families are made to wait is another day of distress and despair.

“Labor's first term came and went with no action on mental health. Mental Health week came and went and still no action by Labor. Talk is cheap but lives are not. Mental illness occurs 24 hours a day. It is not tidy. It is not easy. Crisis lines are being swamped with calls from people looking for help with mental health issues.

“Cutting services may save the Gillard Government’s bottom line but at what cost? Labor should hang its head in shame.

“The time to tackle mental health is when it first occurs. It is our next generation of Australians - those between 16 and 24 - who bear the brunt of mental illness and 200,000 of them will be helped by expanding headspace and Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPIC).

“More mental health services would ease the squeeze on public hospital emergency departments. Australians suffering from mental illness cannot wait. Their families cannot wait. Their health practitioners cannot wait. Society cannot wait. For some families it is already too late.

“Today, the Labor-Green Alliance has failed them yet again.”