Draft 10 year mental health and alcohol and other drug services plan update confirms slow progress: Greens

Greens spokesperson for Mental Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has expressed dismay about the progress made toward achieving the targets set out in the 10 year mental health and alcohol and other drug services plan following today’s release of updated service modelling for the Plan.

“While I am pleased to see the updated modelling finally released, the draft Plan Update 2018 confirms what I have been saying for a long time – we are falling way short of the targets needed to achieve a complete rebalancing of the system,” Ms Xamon said.

The original plan took much work and was developed after the most rigorous of processes, and received bi-partisan support at the time. 

It called for a complete rebalancing of the system and represents our best hope for turning our fractured system around.  Despite this the Plan Update 2018 shows only 24% of the actions identified for completion by the end of 2017 had been finalised by the due date.

“Successive governments are failing to adhere to the directions set out and we as a community are paying the price for it.  Unless government makes a significantly greater investment in prevention and community support, the acute end of the care spectrum, such as our struggling Emergency Departments, will continue to be under enormous strain. 

“People with mental ill health in particular are not being able to access the support they need early on. Instead, many are left to deteriorate until they reach crisis point.

“The costs of not taking action are far-reaching – both personally and economically.

Ms Xamon said the Plan Update 2018 shows that community support and prevention services are at 55% and 69% of the optimal service mix in 2017.  

“We cannot afford to continue on as we have been doing.  If current services levels are maintained by 2025 we will only have 19% of the community support services needed - falling way behind demand.

“The lack of substantial investment into community support and prevention services in the McGowan Government’s last budget failed to provide any indication that the Government is committed to tackling this issue,” Ms Xamon said. 

“There are already too many families struggling to get the support they need, unless we act now an already desperate state of affairs is set to get even worse