On World Mental Health Day (10.10.18), Fiona Patten MP, Leader of the Reason Party and Member for Northern Metro has announced her ambitious plan for Mental Health reform in Victoria.
“This is life and death. Victorians are dying as a consequence of poor policy.” said Ms Patten.
Ms Patten’s plan to invest an additional $543 million by 2022, will not only deliver the timely care that Victorians deserve, but save $1.1 billion a year in health and productivity savings.
“A fence at the top of the cliff is far more effective than an ambulance at the bottom” said Patten, whose plans for 2019 include a total re-write of mental health funding policy in Victoria.
Mental health is a growing concern in Australia with one in five people experiencing a form of mental health condition each year.
Victoria has the lowest per capita expenditure on mental health in Australia and two out of every three young people in Victoria seeking mental health services are turned away.
Over 90,000 Victorians experiencing severe mental illness each year do not receive the care they need.
Ms Patten said “The solution must include community based prevention and recovery, which the Governments’ $705 million investment does not. This is the fence at the top of the cliff that we so desperately need.”
Early intervention in the initial stages of a mental illness can have significant consequences for a person living with mental health. It can lead to improved diagnosis and treatment as well as more timely and targeted referrals to specialist services.
This week the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) released their report ‘The long wait: An analysis of mental health presentations to Australian emergency departments’. The report found that people with mental health issues waited significantly longer than those with physical injuries with the average wait time of 11.5 hours for mental health compared to just 7 hours for physical injuries. It also found that people arriving with mental health concerns were twice as likely to leave before treatment compared to those who were physical injured.
– Additional mental health funding of $543 million by 2022, to deliver the timely care that Victorians deserve benefiting individuals and saving $1.1 billion a year
– Solutions to dangerous wait times for mental health referrals to psychiatrists and other specialists
– Increased training for health professionals to identify and support people with early onset mental health conditions
– Expand combined mental health and drug treatment services in the Northern Metropolitan Region
– A new focus on trauma informed practice
– Ends –