Memo Labor – this is not enough:
Mental health experts say Labor’s proposed suicide prevention measures do not address essential reform needed in the mental health system.
Today Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that a re-elected Labor government would spend $277 million to help people at risk of suicide.
And she said the Government would be willing to commit to a longer-term mental health plan, with the issue to be a second-term priority for Labor.
Ah, the old Labor “we won’t promise anything, but maybe we’ll consider doing something about that issue you care about after the election” ruse. I can’t believe people still fall for it.
Meanwhile, whilst unfortunately I can’t go into specifics about the injustices that our stretched and inadequate mental health services present at court on a regular basis – trust me when I say it’s a serious problem. We have people forced to choose between housing and health services. People stuck in jail for petty offences because no treatment facilities can be found. It’s a cruel and false economy, that wrecks vast numbers of lives and imposes huge costs on our community in terms of crime and poverty.
Even the Liberals are promising to put some sorely-needed funds into improving the system, Prime Minister. Is “we’ll look at suicide and maybe consider something else later” really the best you can do?