Many factors influence mental ill health – work related stress, road rage and financial worries, among others. As West Australians we pride ourselves on our quality of live. But an independent review of mental health services and new ABS data show that there is a mental health crisis in WA. Meanwhile funding for health services are being cut and privatised. Do something about it here!
The Barnett Government recently released its own independent review of mental health services that has called for a major boost in funding.
Previously Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry described WA's mental health services as the worst in Australia and doctors in WA have warned of the dangers of mental health service under-funding.
Distress caused by poor mental health services can be great as has been highlighted by several recent and tragic cases.
An analysis conducted by Save Our Services of the ABS Australian Health Survey for 2011-12 and the earlier 2007-08 National Health Survey has shown that those in WA experiencing high to very high psychological stress increased by 18.5% while nationally this had declined by 3.1%.
For those with even more serious mental ill-health, distress levels can cause serious harm. Comparing suicide rates from 2001-2005 with 2006-2010, the ABS has previously found that Australia-wide these have fallen however rates have increased in WA. These deaths remain highest among men and among Indigenous Australians, where unemployment is very high.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) (1800 551 800).
Those with poor mental health are often unable to advocate for better services as well as those with greater financial and personal resources.
That’s why it’s important to share the word about the need for better services.