Mental health report "holds no surprises"

Catholic Health Australia has said that yesterday's release of the Federal Government's annual national mental health report "continues the long saga of neglect for too many Australians suffering from a mental disorder".

CLICK HEREReleasing this year's National Mental Health Report, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne, says it illustrates that the Commonwealth has significantly increased its spending on mental health. But experts working in the field say a new national report released today demonstrates that not enough is being spent to ease the situation which is reaching critical levels, with growing numbers of people seeking acute help.

Mr Pyne said the report illustrates that Australian Government funding for mental health increased by 134 per cent, or $691 million, between 1993 and 2003. State government expenditure increased by 49 per cent overall in the same period.

"The report shows the significant structural reform in mental health over the last 10 years, but also indicates that reform has been uneven across the country," he said.

But CEO Francis Sullivan's view is that the report "shows that governments can claim increased efforts over the last ten years, but it also reveals the wide chasm that still exists between the promise of avaialbale services and the reality".

"People with severe and complex mental disorders, young people with dual diagnoses and workers struggling to get back into employment remain poorly served by our human services system," he said.

"The report clerarly shows that governments need to embrace the flexibility and innovation which comes from the non government sector and embark on a concerted case management program to better cater for people living difficulcult lives with the disability of mental illness.

"It is one thing to chant the nominal increase in government funding and quite another to instigate substantial investment in the lives of people with mental illness," he said. "The barriers created between governments and their programs must be removed as a matter of urgency so that people with mental illness are proviided with the comprehensive package of services and support that their dignity commands."


Mental health report holds no surprises (Catholic Health Australia 21/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ten years of change in mental health (Hon Christopher Pyne MP, media relase 21/12/05)

Pope announces mental health focus for Adelaide World Day of Sick (CathNews 9/12/05)
Vinnies Christmas spotlight on social fallout of mental illness (CathNews 3/11/05)
Catholic Health applauds PM's bid for non-Govt role in mental health (CathNews 24/1/05)
Catholic Health calls mental health report a "national disgrace" (CathNews 20/10/05)
Catholic Welfare sounds alarm on undiagnosed mental illness (CathNews 5/7/05)
Catholic Health says Costello "calls it right" on mental health (CathNews 24/9/04)

Experts warn of looming mental health crisis (ABC Radio PM yyy/12/05)

22 Dec 2005