Alan Carpenter

Alan Carpenter

Premier; Minister for Federal-State Relations; Trade; Innovation; Science; Public Sector Management

Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    $84.7million in extra funding for mental health

    7/02/2008 1:00 PM

    Premier Alan Carpenter and Health Minister Jim McGinty today announced a 50 per cent increase in the number of children and teenagers who will be able to access treatment for eating disorders at Princess Margaret Hospital.

    This initiative is part of the State Government’s new $84.7million investment in mental health services across Western Australia.

    The funding brings the total extra money allocated by the State Government for mental health to $507million since 2004.

    Mr Carpenter said the new phase of the State Government’s WA Mental Health Strategy was a significant investment in the mental health of all Western Australians.

    “Last financial year 40,799 children, young people and adults were treated for mental health problems in WA,” he said.

    “This additional funding will help cope with increasing demand.”

    Under the plan, the Princess Margaret Hospital Eating Disorders Program will receive an extra $6.27million as part of $16million to expand community mental health services for children, youth and adults.

    “The funding will expand the range of services available to children, young people and their families affected by an eating disorder,” the Premier said.

    “There will be a 50 per cent increase in the number of children who will be able to access treatment for eating disorders at PMH, bringing the total to 150 children at a time.”

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said there would be more clinics and more places in the intensive day treatment and in-home therapy programs.

    “A classroom will also be established as part of the day treatment program to help patients keep up their education while they are not well enough to go to school,” Mr McGinty said.

    “These expanded services will prevent many children getting to the stage where they require hospitalisation.”

    An additional 18 mental health staff will be employed and two premises in Wellington Street have been refurbished to accommodate the day treatment programs. In addition to the $84.7million, an extra $4.65million has been allocated to build a permanent facility on the PMH site by the end of 2009.

    Other community mental health expansion projects that will help children, young people and adults include:
    • $4.72million to increase PMH inpatient and community mental health services for children and adolescents with acute and chronic mental illnesses;
    • $3.5million to expand State-wide non-Government organisation-run parenting and school mental health promotion programs which support the vulnerable children of people with a mental illness; and
    • $1.52million to beyondblue, the national depression initiative, to continue its work to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
    Part of the package includes $5.64million previously announced to establish two specialist clinics for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) - one in the northern metropolitan area and the other in the southern metropolitan area. Each clinic will be co-located with existing community-based mental health services.

    Mr McGinty said the State Government had also allocated an extra $34.97million over four years to increase access to adult inpatient beds for people with severe mental illness. Initiatives include:
    • $8.24million to operate the new 18-bed Bentley Rehabilitation Unit, including funding for 33 new clinical and support staff;
    • $7.13million for services at the new King Edward Memorial Hospital Mother and Baby Unit;
    • $3.1million to provide 10 inpatient beds at the privately-operated Marion Centre; and
    • $16.5million to provide specialist mental health care for adult patients living in regional WA.
    The Government has also allocated an additional $28.1million for supported community accommodation to provide alternatives to hospital admission for people with mental illness and the homeless including:
    • $13.64million funding to provide a higher level of support for residents of the 10 groups of Community Supported Residential Units. Two of the groups of units are already in operation, with four currently being built and the remaining four in the planning stages. The units will provide accommodation and support in the community for 200 people with a mental illness and low-to-medium disability support needs;
    • $8.04million to establish clinical rehabilitation teams to provide in home clinical support for residents of the Community Options Homes, Community Supported Residential Units and supported accommodation units for the homeless; and
    • $6.41million to operate two supported accommodation facilities currently being developed for homeless people with a mental illness in the metropolitan area.
    Mr Carpenter said the Government was committed to expanding community mental health services, providing alternatives to hospital admission and to reducing mental health pressures on emergency departments.

    “We are also committed to boosting safety of staff and patients through improvements in the workplace and the recruitment of additional staff,” he said.

    “There are a growing number of patients and their families whose lives have been affected by mental illness and the State Government is committed to giving them the extra support they need.

    “This plan targets key areas to strengthen the capacity of mental health services in WA to increase access and reduce demand on acute care.”

    Programs already under way as part of the WA Mental Health Strategy 2004-20011 include:
    • provision of an additional 123 acute inpatient beds;
    • the employment of an additional 425 new mental health workers;
    • the construction of an extra 400 supported community accommodation beds - this includes 200 Community Supported Residential Units, 30 Community Options Homes, 120 independent living supported places and 50 beds for the homeless. The first of the Community Supported Residential Units have opened in Geraldton (14 beds) and Albany (11 beds), with Busselton (10 beds) and Bunbury (15 Beds) due to open in the first half of 2008 along with the first Community Options home at Kelmscott (eight beds);
    • expanded mental health services in the community for children, youth and adults;
    • improved safety for mental health staff; and
    • the establishment of specialist mental health teams in emergency departments and extra beds at Graylands Hospital and tertiary hospitals.
    Premier’s office: 9222 9475
    Health Minister’s office: 9422 3000