WHY THE DELAY ON SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH REFORM?

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH

 SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

 

WHY THE DELAY ON SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH REFORM?

 

Australia’s mental health system remains in limbo almost one year after the Liberal Government was provided with the Mental Health Commission’s review in mental health services and programs.

The Minister for Health has failed to prioritise mental health reform and has brushed aside any calls for a timely response with repeated assurances that the response is coming soon whilst people with a mental illness and their carer’s are forced to put up with a system that is failing to meet their needs and mental health services are operating month to month with funding only guaranteed until June 30th 2016.

When asked in Question Time when would the Government respond to the completed review which had been provided to them some 11 months ago Minister for Health, Sussan Ley responded:

“That implementation task force has reported to me and I can certainly say that in the next very little while, before the end of the year, if not sooner, I will be announcing what I and this side of the House believes are significant, far-reaching and very important reforms on mental health.”  - SUSSAN LEY QUESTION TIME 12 NOVEMBER, 2015

Every day that passes where Sussan Ley fails to outline the government’s plan for the mental health sector is another day that vulnerable people fall through the cracks of stretched system.

Every day that passes without a response is another day that hard working professionals in the mental health sector try to deliver crucial services without any job security.

How does the minister expect frontline services to plan their programs or support their clients without any certainty over their future?

Labor has already revealed its interim response to the National Mental Health Commission Report, from Opposition, including a target to reduce suicides by 50% in the next ten years and focus resources to regional areas through Primary Health Networks.

 

FRIDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2015