News Stories of Note – Mental Health

Mental health boost for regional WA

New state funding is expected to boost the quality and number of mental health workers in regional Western Australia. The State Government has handed the Western Australian Association for Mental Health nearly $1.7 million to distribute to non-government agencies over the next two years. The association’s Stephen Hall says the money will go towards recruiting and training mental health workers. “We can increase the capacity of the workforce with training and other things around that,” he said. “That’s particularly important for service delivery in rural and remote settings, having a professional workforce that is well trained and has the expertise that is needed on the ground.”

 $30m allocated for NSW mental health Apr 4, 2011 2:08pm

The newly-appointed New South Wales Minister for Mental Health says he is allocating $30 million to establish a Mental Health Commission by the end of the year. Kevin Humphries was named in the new O’Farrell ministry yesterday and also picked up the portfolios of Health Lifestyles and Western New South Wales. The Nationals MP says he will be directing some resources away from the acute sector to ensure people who are ill have somewhere safe to go in the community. He says he is yet to see any evidence the current funding allocations for mental health have worked or are producing results. “Mental Health is about a $1.25 billion spend in New South Wales,” Mr Humphries said. “To date no-one has been able to tell me or anybody else where that money goes or indeed if people are getting better. “Are they recovering? Are they getting back to work? Are younger people being diagnosed early enough and treatments put in place? “It needs to be rebuilt and that is what we will do.”

Bedlam mass grave uncovered in London

Archaeologists in central London have uncovered a 16th century mass grave containing the remains of patients from the former St Bethlehem’s mental hospital, known as Bedlam. The archaeologists were preparing the way for construction of a new underground rail link. It is thought thousands of skeletons might have to be removed to enable the building of a new ticket hall. The original St Bethlehem’s was first used as a hospital in the 14th century and has become notorious for the cruel and degrading way in which inmates were treated. In the 18th century Londoners paid to go and stare at and mock the inmates, who were kept shackled for much of the time. The hospital was moved to another site in 1815 and the site of the original Bedlam is now occupied by Liverpool Street station.