Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

A LOBBY group has used Men­tal Health Week to launch a cam­paign to get fund­ing in­creased for ser­vices. The Men­tal Ill­ness Fel­low­ship of Aus­tralia says funds for men­tal health ser­vices need to dou­ble. Its chief ex­ec­u­tive David Mel­drum said men­tal ill­ness rep­re­sented more than 14 per cent of the health bur­den but only re­ceived about 8 per cent of fund­ing. He said 600,000 peo­ple had a se­vere men­tal ill­ness and only half were ac­cess­ing ser­vices. More­over, 100,000 of those had ill­nesses or dis­abil­i­ties to com­pound their prob­lems. It was a dis­grace peo­ple with schizophre­nia were dy­ing in their 50s of di­a­betes. “Peo­ple with se­vere men­tal ill­ness have now be­come some of the most eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially marginalised peo­ple in Aus­tralia,” he said. MIFA wants the wel­fare sys­tem over­hauled, a cam­paign to re­duce the stigma in the work­place and big boost for com­mu­nity support funds. Let’s hope they get the mes­sage to the decision mak­ers.

Rick Lee - CNG ed­i­tor

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