Failure to invest in mental health services in the community is driving families – and workers – to breaking point

Greens spokesperson for Mental Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has extended her full support to mental health workers stopping work today at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital today, in protest of inadequate Election commitments from the WA Government to improve mental health service provision for children and young people.

Ms Xamon reiterated her concerns that the Government continued to focus spending on costly hospital care, failing to invest in prevention, early intervention and community managed services which stop people from reaching crisis point.

She said the mental health package announced last month, while welcome, barely touched the sides in terms of what is needed – particularly for children and young people.

“It is absolutely crucial that high quality mental healthcare and support is provided to children and young people suffering from serious mental health issues,” Ms Xamon said.

“It is critical that services be provided in a timely manner.

“The Government’s continual failure to invest in preventative care means that, once again, mental health staff working in hospitals are feeling the strain.

“It is little wonder staff are reaching breaking point.”

Ms Xamon said the Government must commit to re-balancing a mental health system in crisis.

She said it must finally commit to fully funding the 10 Year Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Plan.

“The Government seems to have forgotten that the Plan was a sector-developed tool designed to map out the mental health needs of our state over a ten-year period,” Ms Xamon said.

“The Government has continued to view the Plan as a Barnett-Government initiative – it is playing politics with people’s lives, and with the lives of vulnerable children and young people.

“Families – and mental health workers – need solutions now.”

View from above of five left hands, each grasping the wrist of the hand to their left