Mental Health Services

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Letter sent to the Fraser Coast Chronicle on 4 January 2016:

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Mr Rankin’s letter (1/1/16) about suicides and mental health on the Fraser Coast.

As I explained to Mr Rankin on June 29 last year, federal funding provided directly to the Queensland Government for hospitals is set to increase by 27 per cent over the next four years. It is up to the State Government as to how and where that funding is spent.

There is significant spending on mental health and yet, as Mr Rankin quite rightly points out, too many Australians fall through the cracks or do not receive the full support they need.

That’s why, in November last year, the Coalition Government announced major reforms to Australia’s mental health system and committed an additional $350 million per year.

Implementing these new reforms will require cooperation from the States and Territories to develop a National Mental Health Plan.   

The reforms focus on better co-ordination in regional areas to reduce duplication, ending the so-called ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and delivering effective early intervention programs. 

It is our youth that have greatest prevalence of mental illness – more than any other age group – with three quarters of all mental illness presenting in people aged under 25 years.

That’s why we’re investing in programs like headspace, to help young people recover or better manage their conditions to avoid serious and debilitating conditions later in life.

With headspace centres already established in Hervey Bay and Maryborough, a new headspace facility will be built in Bundaberg later this year.

More information about the reforms is available at www.health.gov.au  

Keith Pitt MP

Federal Member for Hinkler 

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