MP push for funds
Tomorrow’s State Budget delivery of $865.8 million to the Mental Health Commission has left some local community members in doubt over funding commitments to services in the Peel region.
The Rockingham and Mandurah communities were thrust into the spotlight last month after a number of teenage suicides left mental health support an important topic of discussion, but so far the State Government is yet to pledge any specific help for the region.
The Budget’s mental health pledge is a new record and 83.9 per cent increase to the sector since 2008-09.
According to Premier Colin Barnett, the funding will be used to ensure a better understanding of mental illness and support not-forprofit agencies.
However, there has been little talk of Peel, and Mandurah MLA David Templeman plans to discuss the matter in Parliament tomorrow.
“Any increase in mental health funding is welcomed,” he said.
“But we have a major issue here in the Peel Region where timely, ongoing and preventative mental health services are lacking.
“There is still an assumption from Perth-based services that Mandurah is adequately serviced and this is totally wrong. We have the 3 Tier Youth Mental Health Program, already evaluated and ready to hit the ground running, which now can be funded from the announced extra money.”
The 3 Tier Youth Mental Health Program is co-ordinated by GP Down South. Business development manager Eleanor Britton said it was fantastic to see any commitment to mental health.
“It is great to see the State Government’s pledge, but we would like to see it flow through to Mandurah and the Peel area to support our young people.”
Mr Templeman said the lack of mental health beds in the Peel region should be a priority.
Mental Health and Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said a key commitment was $19.2 million over three years for the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program, funded through Royalties for Regions.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was continuing to invest in strategic regional health initiatives to enhance regional WA services and infrastructure.
The commission’s Budget would also deliver funding for dedicated youth and adolescent mental health beds at Perth Children’s Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital.