Qld Mental Funding

Mental Health Services Suffer Under Labor

by Ted Sorensen
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As many as 1 in 5 Queenslanders experience mental illness including substance abuse disorders every year and 1 in 2 Queenslanders will experience mental illness in their lifetime.

Given our growing population, Queensland needs more mental health funding, not less.

According to the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, at least 10 organisations won’t see their funding renewed from 1 July, worth a total of about $7 million.

I’m appalled that these important services have been cut by Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor.  They literally save lives.

Organisations in Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland, Gold Coast and Brisbane are enduring funding cuts or being completely de-funded and many of them are afraid to speak out.
Community mental health services take pressure off our emergency departments, which are already at breaking point.

Health Minister Steven Miles needs to urgently reverse this decision and find the money in the $18.4 billion health budget.

Labor has wasted hundreds of millions on failed IT programs, but cuts hundreds of thousands to community mental health services across the state.

This is just another example of how Labor’s health priorities are all wrong and Queensland patients are suffering as a result.

Here’s what the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health had to say on 17th June, 2019

State Budget: Status Quo for Mental Health

In-community mental health services were not winners in this year’s State Budget.

Despite the promise of $62 million dollars for the Shifting Minds Suicide Prevention Flagship program: Taking action to reduce suicides in Queensland, there is no real increase for in-community mental health services in line with the mental health needs of the Queensland community.

The Alliance is concerned that the overwhelming proportion of budget allocations for “mental health” are directed to various Health and Hospital Services, rather than preventative and recovery focused in-community services.”

For insight into this issue refer to ‘We keep pumping money into a system we know is at breaking point”.

Jacklyn Whybrow, Acting CEO said that the sector was “concerned that the current mental health policy settings and funding decisions will exacerbate the emergency department crisis in Queensland.”

“We call for greater transparency on just how much money allocated for mental health is spent on Health and Hospital Services and Emergency Departments.”

The Alliance stands with QCOSS and all other peak bodies in their assessment of the 2019 State Budget as a “underwhelming response to an overwhelming shortfall” in funding for the community sector.

The Alliance is available for further comment at the Annual QCOSS Budget Breakfast.

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