Auditor General damning of WA Mental Health system: Greens

The Greens spokesperson for Mental Health the Hon Alison Xamon MLC is dismayed, but certainly not surprised, by the findings of the Access to State-Managed Adult Mental Health Services report released by the Auditor General today.

“The report paints a damning picture of a disjointed State funded mental health care system, that is out of touch with how people use services, resulting in an inefficient system that heavily relies on crisis style care.

“Unsurprisingly the Auditor General has found that despite the widely acknowledged veracity of the State’s 10 year mental health, alcohol and other drug plan there has been limited progress in its implementation,” she said.

“We are not making any headway and in some instances we are going backwards.  The Auditor General’s finding that people accessing community treatment services in 2017 were receiving less care on average than in 2013 is incredibly disheartening to say the least.

“Successive governments are failing to adhere to the directions set out and we as a community are paying the price for it.

“Importantly the Auditor General draws attention to some of the systemic failings that are getting in the way of the Mental Health Commission and WA Health being able to turn things around.

Ms Xamon said “we absolutely need to acknowledge these failings so that they can be addressed.  There needs to be clearer lines of responsibility and better coordination between government agencies.

“The Auditor General is to be applauded for her Office’s contribution to better understanding how people move through the WA mental health system.  This kind of data is desperately needed to inform better service provision.

“Unless government takes heed of the Auditor General’s findings the acute end of the care spectrum, such as our struggling Emergency Departments, will continue to be under enormous strain.

“What more evidence could the Government possibly need to begin properly investing in implementing the 10 year plan?