HOUSING KEY FOR HEALTH
Finding appropriate housing for Geraldton people with mental health issues is difficult, according to key agencies.
WA Association for Mental Health chief executive Taryn Harvey said 27 per cent of mental health inpatients had no clinical reason to be in hospital.
“They are there because they don’t have housing and support to be discharged to,” she said.
“The Government’s own policy says the biggest gap in mental health investment is in community support.
“That’s why we are running the Prevent Support Plan campaign this State Election, to get the Government to commit to fulfilling its own policy for a balanced mental health system.”
Ms Harvey welcomed the WA Government’s announced stepup step-down facility for Geraldton, but said it was for people who already had safe and stable places to live.
“The Government must increase investment into the non-clinical and non-acute community supports to balance the system so there are supports for people after they leave hospital or step-up step-down facility,” she said.
“Without these supports many people keep having to return to those acute services because their needs aren’t being met to keep them well in their homes and in the community.”
Alison Hilton manages the community mental health service Fusion in Geraldton.
“In Geraldton we have very good mental health services and we work well together but because there is this lack of appropriate housing that becomes quite an issue,” she said.
“If you don’t have a stable home everything else is that much harder.”
Last week WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley promised “significant” public housing development for Geraldton.