Welcome to TAMHSS first blog posting. Our blog is now up and running and we welcome your comments on topics related to mental health.
TAMHSS (Transforming Australia’s Mental Health Service Systems)
• Provides an independent forum to increase and sustain the momentum for reform
• Encourages the Australian community to participate in the transformation of the
Australian mental health service system.
A part of the whole or a hole in the map?
There is ample evidence that the mental health community knows what is needed to move towards improving and transforming Australian Mental Health Services (public, private and NGO). Recent policy announcements from both sides of the political spectrum are welcome, however much is still missing. They have neatly cut out a small segment of the overall map of the mental health landscape and presented it to the Australian public as if it were the whole map.
Early Intervention Programs are certainly needed but they are only a segment of the whole. Inherent in these programs is the concept of preventing or reducing the effects of mental illness in young people. Not all of the Australian population is under the age of 30 years. In fact Australia is preparing for the retirement and old age of the Baby Boomers. So where is the increased funding to mental health services for this age group? Where is the funding for carers? Where is the funding for those with mental illness who are homeless? Where is the funding to assist with employment? Where is the funding for community-based mental health teams who are the first port of call in the public sector for those experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder? Why do politicians focus on beds? Yes, beds are needed. But they are only a part of the whole. There is a great gaping hole in current political announcements on mental health.
The Way Forward
In recent years there have been numerous reports and plans which outline ways forward. We will be commenting further on these, but in the meantime, please send us your ideas for strategies to transform mental health services in Australia to better serve people with mental disorders and also their families and carers.