Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Regional Services for Mental Health Patients on the Agenda

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Regional Services for Mental Health Patients on the Agenda

Article excerpt

MENTAL health services remained in the spotlight this week with Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard addressing parliament on the government's commitment to support services in regional areas.

During Mental Health Week last week, Health Minister Cameron Dick unveiled the Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Plan 2015-17, which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders by taking early action.

Mr Dick also announced more than $450,000 in funding to improve mental health through greater social inclusion and community participation, particularly in regional areas.

Ms Howard highlighted the government's commitment to youth mental health, in light of the LNP's closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre, which is currently the subject of a commission of inquiry headed by the Justice Margaret Wilson.

"The Palaszczuk Government values the mental health of our youth and has committed $11.8 million over four years to rebuild mental health care for young people in Queensland after the last three years of neglect," she said.

Ms Howard also emphasised the importance of working together as a society that values mental health.

"Mental health is an issue that touches all of our lives at some point, either personally or through the experiences of friends and family," she said.

"Most of us can manage these issues and get on with our lives, but others need help.

"Whether as a government, a community or individually, we must do everything we can to assist them."

Meanwhile the Opposition yesterday sought a bipartisan approach to mental health support services by harmonising two bills currently before parliament.

Opposition Health spokesman Mark McArdle said it was crucial politics was left at the door when dealing with such an important issue as mental health. …

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