Tasmanian psychiatrists urge incoming government to put mental health first in reform agenda

The Tasmanian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is urging parties to continue to invest in the state’s mental health system ahead of the upcoming state election. 

Dr Ben Elijah, Chair of the Tasmanian Branch of RANZCP, emphasised the critical role that mental health plays in the overall wellbeing of Tasmanians.  

“Mental illness remains a significant issue in our state, impacting the lives of countless Tasmanians. It is crucial that the next government gives it the attention and resources it deserves. 

While acknowledging the strides made by the current Liberal government in improving access to mental health care across Tasmania, Dr Elijah said the incoming government needed to build on the reforms and ensure ongoing investment in mental health. 

“The current government has made commendable efforts to improve mental health infrastructure in the state. 

“However, there are some gaps that still need to be addressed. We need sustainable funding to grow mental health services available to vulnerable groups, including individuals with intellectual disabilities, the prison population and forensic patients. 

“The growing workforce shortages in psychiatry are also disproportionately impacting regional, rural and remote areas of the state where there aren’t enough psychiatrists or mental health practitioners to assist people. 

“As a result, some Tasmanians with acute mental illnesses are falling through the cracks because help is too far away, too long a wait, too expensive or simply unavailable. 

“The state government must work with the Commonwealth to ensure that quality mental health services with adequate staffing are available for people in the southern, northern and northwestern parts of Tasmania. 

“Change does not happen overnight, and we need continued investment and reform to ensure all Tasmanians have access to timely and affordable high-quality mental health care. 

“The incoming Tasmanian government must prioritise investment in our mental health workforce and support multidisciplinary teams providing life-saving mental health care to Tasmanians.” 

Dr Elijah said RANZCP Tasmania Branch was committed to working with the incoming government in Tasmania to enhance mental health outcomes for all Tasmanians. 

“We look forward to working with the next Tasmanian state government and ensure mental health remains a top priority on their agenda.” 

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 Dishi Gahlowt on +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org. 

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 Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.auor the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au. 

In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nzor the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention. 



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