• Archives
  • Categories
  • Government has a duty of care over mental health funding

    2018 - 07.03

    MENTAL health is under the gun again, facing an uncertain funding future.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The federal government has put the mental health funding system under review by the National Mental Health Commission and that means hundreds of contracts have not been guaranteed after June 30.

    Dozens of mental health groups including Mental Health Australia, Headspace and the Black Dog Institute have written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Sussan Ley asking for some certainty.

    The government has a duty to respond quickly.

    As the letter points out, ongoing uncertainty is causing huge disruption to organisations and, increasingly, deep anxiety to the people they serve, many of who suffer stress, worry, anxiety or depression.

    Not knowing if their support services face extinction or not can only make matters worse.

    Locally, south-west agencies are warning of dire consequences if mental-health programs are compromised.

    Hundreds of young people will be left high and dry if the specialist support programs they rely on to navigate their young lives are left without crucial funding.

    Headspace, in particular, is a vital program in this region.

    It has been operating successfully since 2008, providing access to early intervention services for 750 young people across the region.

    It is administered by Brophy Family and Youth Services, an organisation which has already suffered under funding cuts with the loss of its youth connections program last year.

    Generally, a review of a particular sector that operates under federal funding means that services will be cut. It is most unlikely given the state of the federal budget that the government will turn around and suggest mental-health programs need more money. It should, but it won’t.

    Instead, agencies can realistically expect some further consolidation and trimming.

    Once again, it seems the most vulnerable in our community get to wear the cost.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Comments are closed.