A lack of psychologists and mental health nurses in Western Australian prisons means the system is failing to adequately address prisoners’ health needs and some of the root causes of offending, Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Corrective Services Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said.
Ms Xamon said almost half of prison entrants had a mental health issue.
Despite this, she said, there were now fewer psychologists per prisoner in WA prisons than there were in 2014-15.
Greens spokesperson for Corrective Service and Youth Hon Alison Xamon MLC has revealed through questions in Parliament that young people are being unnecessarily detained at Banksia Hill Detention Centre because there are no places for them in the drug and alcohol programs that they need.
Ms Xamon pushed the Government to reveal that at 15 June two young people found to be eligible for release into a drug and alcohol program were still in prison because rehabilitation beds were not available.
Greens spokesperson for Children and Youth Hon Alison Xamon MLC has called on the Federal Government to urgently top-up funding for the Kids Helpline, since she revealed more than half of calls made to the essential telephone counselling service went unanswered.
Ms Xamon said she was very concerned to learn through questions in Parliament that 56 per cent of calls made to the Kids Helpline in 2017 did not go through.
Greens spokesperson for Alcohol and Other Drugs Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today called on the Government to reverse its decision to cut funding to the Meth Helpline.
Ms Xamon said the cut backs, which have already led to the scaling back of counselling shifts from 75 to 65 per fortnight, would make it more difficult for people to access the support they need.
She said there needed to be more investment in the vital service, not less.
Greens Member for North Metropolitan Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today welcomed progress towards reforming the GST distribution.
Ms Xamon said WA had missed out for too long, with additional funding increasingly tied to projects the community neither wants nor needs, or which are not critical priorities, such as Roe 8.
She said it was unacceptable that to date, the only increase in funding coming to WA had been in the form of grants tied to particular projects.
"WA is in desperate need of income that can be spent on essential services within the state," Ms Xamon said.