Mental health boost helps

THE Federal Budget’s extra $1.5 billion towards mental health services will be a great help to an overloaded industry, according to Toowoomba’s Warrina Disability Support Services committee member Robert Fernandez.

Mr Fernandez said the $2.2 billion package for mental health services was still not enough to fix the country’s problems with mental health support but was a definite step in the right direction.

“In all my interactions with the mental health system, I’ve found workers are overloaded with cases,” Mr Fernandez said.

“The extra funding is very much needed; anything that can help our health system will be of benefit to the whole community.”

Mr Fernandez said more than 20 per cent of Australians would have mental health problems in their lifetime, furthering the need for more support and funding.

“It will be interesting to see how the funding boost will filter to the community and whether it’s mostly going to hospitals or to individual support organisations,” he said.

The $2.2 billion package will include $571 million for the severely mentally ill, $419 million for intervention for young people and $220 million for primary care.

Michele Cauchi, a Toowoomba coordinator for ARAFMI Mental Health Carers, said she hoped the funding was used wisely.

“Anyone who has dealt with a family or friend with mental health issues knows it’s not an easy road,” Mrs Cauchi said.

“Rural areas especially don’t get much help with mental health support.”

Anything that can help our health system will be of benefit to the whole community.



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