Monday, November 29, 2004

Fed Govt threatens force over mental health spending!

The Federal Government has threatened to coerce the states and territories to spend more on mental health services.

Parliamentary secretary for health Christopher Pyne says Commonwealth funding for mental health services increased by 128 per cent between 1993 and 2002, while state and territory funding during that time increased by just 40 per cent.

Mr Pyne says while substantial improvements have been made, developments have not been consistent across all states and territories.

"If the Commonwealth is pulling its weight, we expect the states to pull theirs," he said.

"So through negotiation, coercion and simply working together, I guess that's the way we'll try and bring about an improvement in the states' performance in the mental health area."

"The states have a responsibility to provide the right services to people who are suffering with mental health," he said.

By Just Us 29 November 04

Deaths in Custody, Police Powers and Mental Illness
The NSW Police Force should not have a role in the psychiatric diagnosis and medication of the public. Police are not medically trained in this speciality.

Police to uphold law not decide mental health
A diagnosis of mental illness could be made over the phone instead of in person, and involuntary psychiatric patients could lose the right to have their case reviewed by a magistrate, under proposed changes to NSW mental health laws.

At The Ministers Pleasure?
20 people have been recommended for release from Long Bay Prison Hospital yet they are still there.

Jails-The new asylums?
QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Asylum seekers -- no, not what you think -- but those who are so disillusioned with the current approach of our mental health system that they believe we should go back to the old ways and rebuild the asylums.

Ms CLOVER MOORE (Bligh) [4.43 p.m.]: Today I speak about the shocking situation for people with mental illness, and call for urgent government action. There have been calls for reform of mental health services as far back as the 1983 Richmond report, followed by the 1988 Barclay report and the 1993 Burdekin report.

Conditions in the HRMU
Justice Action is trying to obtain documents on behalf of prisoners held in the Goulburn High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) from the Federal Attorney General's Department, Corrective Services Minister's Conference regarding the process described below, in which the Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia were adopted. This documentation will help explain the justification for the conditions in the HRMU.

Forensic Hospital at Long Bay
NSW should reject the government decision to set up a secure forensic hospital at Long Bay - or in any place where it can be influenced by the Department of Corrective Services (DCS) (or probably Corrections Health Service (CHS) for that matter).

Escape from hell?
A third person has escaped from the Adelaide's Glenside psychiatric hospital as health authorities prepare to begin a second review of security.

Escape proof but not so the prisoners mind
Fewer prisoners escape from prison these days because they're "cemented in" by materials that do not break and by legislation that can keep prisoners in jail until they die.

Parents on the inside leave children on the edge
Life in jail is an ordeal but it's a much harsher sentence for the child of a prisoner, writes Paola Totaro. 30 July 03

History of trauma dogs sole parents and the government
Australia's sole parents including those who were squarely divided by the Family Court of Australia which include tens of thousands of lone mothers on welfare benefits have experienced rape, physical assault, torture and mental health disorders at some time during their life, a new study shows.

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

Child detainees 'living in a nightmare', report finds
A report being released today documents disturbing evidence about mental health for children in detention centres.The report is a joint work by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, NSW University and NSW psychiatrists.

The children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.