Cappo committee in call for SA mental health revamp

The South Australian government has committed to implementing 33 recommendations from the Social Inclusion Board chaired by Adelaide's Msgr David Cappo which has called for sweeping changes to the state's mental health care system.

The Australian reports that the South Australian government will spend $43 million to revamp the services.

The report's eight remaining recommendations, including a major redevelopment of Adelaide's Glenside psychiatric hospital, were expected to be funded in the next state budget.

Board chairman Msgr Cappo said his group's investigation revealed a mental health system that was out of balance and failed to properly meet the needs of the mentally ill.

Msgr Cappo said the report presented the state government with a huge opportunity to improve the wellbeing of the mentally ill.

"We will leapfrog and in five years we will place South Australia where it should be with a system that is second to none and excellent for our own community," he said.

But Msgr Cappo also warned the government that it could not pick and choose from the strategy and said his board would monitor progress on the reforms and speak out where necessary.

South Australian Mental Health Minister Gail Gago said the government was fully committed to the report's recommendations.

Catholic Social Services lead role in children care

In another story, the NSW Children's Guardian, Kerryn Boland, has commended Catholic agencies for their approach to out of home care accreditation at a meeting of Catholic Social Services NSW/ACT in Sydney last week.

Ms Boland presented accreditation certificates to staff at the Marist Youth Care and Centacare in Broken Bay, Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong who have recently completed the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian's accreditation and quality improvement program.

The accreditation and quality improvement program encourages agencies providing out of home care services to focus their work on meeting the needs of children and young people in care.

Ms Boland said: "Catholic agencies have taken a lead role in providing out of home care and are to be congratulated on this and for the significant input they have made into the development of the out of home care standards".

SA to spend $43m on mental health (The Australian, 21/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
SA Social Inclusion Board
Catholic Social Services Australia

21 Feb 2007