Men­tal care promised

Mandurah Coastal Times - - COASTAL TIMES -

YOUNG peo­ple strug­gling with men­tal ill­ness in the Peel Re­gion have been thrust to the fore­front of the State Elec­tion with prom­ises com­ing hard and fast in re­gards to their care.

A re-elected Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment would fund a Hospi­tal in the Home ser­vice out of Peel Health Cam­pus.

This would see 130 chil­dren aged from 12 to 18 re­ceive clin­i­cal care at home.

Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell was in Man­durah on Thurs­day to make this an­nounce­ment, along with Dawesville Lib­eral can­di­date Zak Kirkup.

The an­nounce­ment has been slammed by Man­durah MLA David Tem­ple­man.

“I am dis­gusted with this min­is­ter, this Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment and this an­nounce­ment,” he said.

“The point is this an­nounce­ment has come out of nowhere; when WA La­bor pointed out about the ap­palling re­sourc­ing of men­tal health ser­vices in the re­gion as late as Novem­ber last year, she said the area was ad­e­quately ser­viced.”

Ms Mitchell said the South-West and Peel were cho­sen for the trial be­cause child and youth men­tal health was a sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity is­sue in these ar­eas.

Mr Tem­ple­man said the one-year trial was be­ing offered to “keep us quiet”.

How­ever, Mr Kirkup said men­tal health was a com­plex is­sue for any gov­ern­ment.

He said there was a crit­i­cal need in Man­durah for men­tal health ser­vices.

“This is a WA first pi­o­neer­ing pro­ject,” he said.

“I’ve been work­ing closely with the min­is­ter.”

Ms Mitchell said the home en­vi­ron­ment can of­ten be a bet­ter set­ting for the pa­tients re­quir­ing treat­ment.

“Pa­tients will be deemed hospi­tal pa­tients but will re­ceive in­di­vid­u­alised hospi­tal-level care in a home­based set­ting,” she said.

Re­cent fig­ures from the Aus­tralian Pru­den­tial Reg­u­la­tion Author­ity showed 7785 peo­ple dropped their pri­vate health cover in De­cem­ber.

Pri­vate Health­care Aus­tralia fig­ures show that 90 per cent of day ad­mis­sions for men­tal health care and 50 per cent of all men­tal health ad­mis­sions are funded through pri­vate health.

When Ms Mitchell was asked if she was an­tic­i­pat­ing a rise in the amount of men­tal health pa­tients ac­cess­ing the pub­lic health sys­tem, due to peo­ple can­celling their cover, she was un­per­turbed.

Ms Mitchell said her gov­ern­ment had in­creased in­vest­ment in men­tal health ser­vices by 84 per cent to $865.8 mil­lion.

Rachel Fen­ner

Dawesville Lib­eral can­di­date Zak Kirkup and Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell.

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