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11 Comments

  1. 1

    Margo

    Without meaning to throw cold water on the commitment of resources to mental health…I have some sympathy with AMA members who have voiced concerns about what the changes will mean in terms of their ability to provide mental health care & support for their patients, many of whom rely on GP services because they are unable or unwilling to go anywhere else. I also hope that this will allow headspace to provide a more flexible approach — the current arrangements, under which a young person suffering from anxiety and social phobias is expected to parade through a university campus and enter the headspace office in full public view is serving to inhibit access.

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  2. 2

    mentalasanything

    As a user of the mental health services my impression is as follows:

    1) great to see investment in non-traditional models which sees people who are sick locked up in prison like environments with little psychological support. The flexible in community programme seems responsive to me – provided a team can be knitted together – around the individual concerned. Sounds good but can it really? My experience is that it is easier said than done.

    2) removal or limiting of the funding of gps and pyschologists is extremely worrying. The reason it is getting used so much is because a) the mental health system is almost impossible to navigate b) the best chance of a quick recovery for incident related events is early intervention, and c) holding onto as much as your life as possible whilst seeking treatment makes recovery easier. Doing this without a gp would be difficult. Doing it without a psychologist makes it about beds and drugs.

    3) Removal of the funding on gps and psychologists is also a false economy. The alternative is in hospital bed days, prescription of drugs, and a visit to a psychiatrist (at nearly 3 times the price – and often operating a medical model).

    4) What also needs to be highlighted is the effect of drug and alcohol on the availability of mental health services. In private hospitals at least 1/2 of all beds are dedicated to these needs. In public hospitals it is a large part of their trade.

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