Topic: election nsw 2007
[Press release follows, bold added]
8 January 2007
Increase in funding first response to mental health crisis
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said today that the present crisis in the mental
health system will continue while the NSW and federal governments
continue to underspend in this crucial area.
*The death of a nine months old baby is an indictment of a mental
health system in crisis and responsibility does have to come back to
government policy and lack of adequate funding,* said Ms Rhiannon.
*Premier Morris Iemma said mental health was one of his three
priorities when he came into office. His track record has not matched
his fine words.
*In 2004-5 the mental health budget was underspent by approximately
$10 million. NSW has spent less than other states and territories in
*The death of this baby should be a giant wake up call for Premier
*Australia spends far less on mental health compared to equivalent
countries. Because of this lack of funding only about 40 per cent of
people with a mental illness are diagnosed and less than half of those
receive adequate treatment.
*This means that only one in five people with a significant
psychological problem is getting the treatment and care they need.
*A World Health Organisation report released last year on the most
appropriate treatment for mental health found that a 30 per cent
increase in funding would lead to a 90 per cent improvement in the
number of people recovering from a mental illness.
*An increase in funding would be an important step to preventing
another innocent person being killed by a person suffering from a mental
illness. It would also be a highly cost-effective investment in reducing
the number of hospitalisations from acute mental illness.
*A boost in funding would allow for an expansion of community-based
services across the state, particularly in regional and rural NSW.
*The Greens are campaigning for the expansion of facilities such as
Callan Park across the state,* Ms Rhiannon said.
For more information: Lee Rhiannon ....