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Archive for October 2011

YOUTH MENTAL ILLNESS IGNORED

Barrier Breakers, Gippsland’s advocates for mental health is incensed that the region has missed out on new federal funding for new Headspace centres to support adolescents battling mental illness.

CEO of barrier Breakers, Derek Amos, said despite the Gillard government committing 197 million in the May Budget to develop 15 new such units around Australia, including 4 in Victoria, Gippsland was completely overlooked.

Mr. Amos said that it was astounding that the region had not rated a mention – “It’s almost as if we didn’t exist”. He said there are no youth specific acute services in the entire region. Consequently young people are being sent to the Monash Medical Centre or the facility at Box Hill. “This is totally unacceptable for families who live in the region, let alone those in far East Gippsland”.

Mr. Amos said there were only 2 acute care beds for adolescents suffering psychotic episodes in the entire region – an area of 44,000 square miles and with a population in excess of a quarter of a million people.

He said that other than these beds being grossly deficient for the needs of young people, they were also most inappropriately placed in the Flynn ward setting of Latrobe Regional Hospital with adult acute care patients. “Parents have complained to Barrier Breakers that they are too scared to leave their children in the Flynn ward, which was primarily designed and staffed for adults”.

“Many of these parents are opting to stay with their children in the Flynn ward”.

“Both the state and federal governments claim that mental illness is the single biggest issue facing young Australians with one in four adolescents experiencing a mental disorder in any given year”.

“Given the vastness of Gippsland and the singular lack of appropriate facilities for young people who become unwell, governments have completely failed in their duty of care as this region urgently demands recognition of adolescent needs”.
Mr. Amos said an additional 35 locations for the new centres would be announced over the next 4 years and that Barrier Breakers is calling upon both the state and federal governments to immediately recognise the plight of young people in the Gippsland region by bringing forward funding arrangements to meet Gippsland’s needs now.
Barrier Breakers, Gippsland’s advocates for mental health is incensed that the region has missed out on new federal funding for new Headspace centres to support adolescents battling mental illness. Mr. Amos said despite the Gillard government committing 197 million in the May Budget to develop 15 new such units around Australia, including 4 in Victoria, Gippsland was completely overlooked.
Mr. Amos said that it was astounding that the region had not rated a mention – “It’s almost as if we didn’t exist”. He said there are no youth specific acute services in the entire region. Consequently young people are being sent to the Monash Medical Centre or the facility at Box Hill.
“This is totally unacceptable for families who live in the region, let alone those in far East Gippsland”.
Mr. Amos said there were only 2 acute care beds for adolescents suffering psychotic episodes in the entire region – an area of 44,000 square miles and with a population in excess of a quarter of a million people. He said that other than these beds being grossly deficient for the needs of young people, they were also most inappropriately placed in the Flynn ward setting of Latrobe Regional Hospital with adult acute care patients. “Parents have complained to Barrier Breakers that they are too scared to leave their children in the Flynn ward, which was primarily designed and staffed for adults”.
“Many of these parents are opting to stay with their children in the Flynn ward”.
“Both the state and federal governments claim that mental illness is the single biggest issue facing young Australians with one in four adolescents experiencing a mental disorder in any given year”.

“Given the vastness of Gippsland and the singular lack of appropriate facilities for young people who become unwell, governments have completely failed in their duty of care as this region urgently demands recognition of adolescent needs”.
Mr. Amos said an additional 35 locations for the new centres would be announced over the next 4 years and that Barrier Breakers is calling upon both the state and federal governments to immediately recognise the plight of young people in the Gippsland region by bringing forward funding arrangements to meet Gippsland’s needs now.