Psychiatrists call on Queensland Government to implement recommendations from Mental Health Services Parliamentary Inquiry
8 Jun 2022
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Queensland Branch welcomes the release of the Committee report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Mental Health Services in Queensland.
Chair of the RANZCP Queensland Branch Committee, Professor Brett Emmerson AM, said it is now critical the Queensland Government act swiftly to implement the recommendations of the Mental Health Select Committee report, which stemmed from the Inquiry that the RANZCP was instrumental in ensuring took place.
“This much-needed Inquiry has made important recommendations to bolster the mental health workforce, increase resources for children, youth, adults and older persons, improve the partnership with those who have lived experience and act on the recognised importance of housing and employment opportunities,” Prof Brett Emmerson said.
“A key recommendation from the parliamentary review is the re-establishment of the Mental Health
Workforce Planning and Development Branch within the Department of Health, which is something the RANZCP is very supportive of.
“We look forward to seeing how these recommendations will be implemented in the upcoming mental health plan.
“It’s now up to the Queensland Government to provide the funding needed to make sure the recommended mental health and wellbeing strategy and regional mental healthcare plans can be developed.
“The Report also recommends funding to implement accountability reforms for the Queensland mental health and alcohol and other drugs service system. We believe this will require a long term recurrent annual funding increase of up to $750 million per year.
“We acknowledge that the Committee Report adopts many of the RANZCP’s recommendations, including support for re-establishing a central mental health workforce unit and the commitment to mental healthcare for life through support for everyone from infants to older persons.
“It is well known that Queensland is Australia’s lowest-funded jurisdiction per capita for mental health care. That is why we have consistently called for immediate funding to bring Queensland into line with the spending of other states.
“After Victoria held its Royal Commission into the state’s Mental Health System, the Victorian Government announced a significant financial commitment of increased funding for state mental health services in Victoria. We believe the Queensland Government needs to make a similar commitment in response to this Inquiry
“While the report has identified the funding issues, it has not specified the specific funding needed. We await the Government’s upcoming funding announcements in the State Budget on 21 June and are looking for a significant increase in funding of up to $750 million per year to implement the Report’s recommendations.
Professor Emmerson said the RANZCP Queensland Branch looked forward to working with the Government to deliver the standard of mental health services Queenslanders have long deserved.
For more information and for all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call +61 437 315 911, or email email@example.com.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments and other groups on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.
In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention.
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