HEADSPACE & MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES UNDER THREAT
19 Jun 2016
Janelle Saffin, Federal Labor candidate for Page today challenged Kevin Hogan MP speak the truth on the future of mental health services on the North Coast.
Ms Saffin slammed Mr Hogan’s claim to be “On Our Side” in his advertising.
“False advertising at best, and conning our community at worst.”
“Before the last election Mr Hogan promised, along with Mr. Abbott, there would be no cuts to health, to education, and some. Will this be repeated, as Mr Hogan will not even own up to the massive health and education cuts that have happened on his watch.
“The Nationals have failed to stand up for Medicare, failed to stand up for hospital and health services.
"Mr Hogan now refuses to support a stand-alone Headspace in the Clarence Valley, where it is desperately needed. Headspace saves lives, giving quality of life.
"Tragically we have lost too many people to suicide with our North Coast region having the highest suicide rate in NSW, and seven Australians dying from suicide every day.
"Mr Hogan repeats the line in the Candidates Forums that there have been no funding cuts to health and education. He clearly does not read the Federal Budget Papers or is ignorant of what happens in Canberra!
“Hasn’t he noticed that in the Clarence Valley alone, six youth services have been cut or had funding support slashed? (DEX 31.3.2015)
"The truth is that CEO of Headspace has left in exasperation, with mental health experts expressing alarm with the Federal Government's tampering with mental health funding arrangements.
"Existing Headspace centres in Tweed, Lismore, and Coffs Harbour could also be under threat, with the Coalition Government failing to commit to ongoing funding.
“If Mr Hogan is serious about mental health services in the Page electorate, he could begin with a commitment to a stand-alone Headspace in the Clarence Valley so that they do not keep missing out on essential services. He should have been fighting for this from day one."
Ms Saffin said Labor had committed $1.8 over three years to establish a Headspace centre in the Clarence Valley. It has also committed to support frontline practitioners reduce suicide by 50 per cent.
Other elements of Labor’s $83.7 million national mental health strategy include:
- Restoring Federal Coalition funding cuts to six early psychosis centres, supporting young people with serious mental health problems.
- Providing funding so more than 95 headspace centres around the country can stay open.
- Leading the negotiation to develop the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
- Delivering regionally tailored mental health programs through existing Primary Health Networks.
- Making sure people living with a mental illness continue to receive the support and care they need when they are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Promoting the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to support better mental health at work and remove the stigma and discrimination that all too often accompanies mental ill health.