Mental Health

Carers Alliance is deeply concerned with the narrow scope of mental health policy from the major parties.

Carers Alliance will work towards ensuring that 12% of the health budget is for mental health services

There seems to be little engagement with multicultural and indigenous services, nor on the relationship between drugs and mental illness. All of the new money that has been provided for mental health has been preventative focused.

While Carers Alliance welcomes preventative measures with the Headspace Centres, little thought and planning has gone into effective access to allied health services, accommodation services nor beds within the Area Health Services for those needing more intensive services and supports.

The consumer has the right to expect that hospital and community mental health services will be part of an integrated network to ensure continuity of care, but access to services is extremely restricted because of the lack of beds within the Area Health Services.

Mental health consumers should have mandated rights to service

This includes;

The right to expect  access to specialist medical services

The right to the least restrictive or intrusive effective treatment.

The right to obtain treatment at an early stage of their illness in order to minimise the likelihood of involuntary admission to a treatment program.

The right to having mental health problems or mental disorders assessed, diagnosed, treated and reviewed in accordance with professionally accepted standards.

The right to have age, gender and culturally appropriate mental health services provided in an environment which is conducive to his or her continued participation in community life.

The right to be protected from the threat of sexual harassment and abuse.

The right to a co-ordinated ongoing range of adequately resourced care, treatment and rehabilitation

The right to have treatment appropriate to his or her health and rehabilitation needs

The right to the protection and safety of themselves and others.

Individualised service packages

People living with mental illness will benefit significantly from individual support packages. These packages will;
1. provide the user of services with the choice of service type
2. allow portability of funding allowing choice of service provider or to pay for the care they choose to have in their own home
3. be consumer controlled funding

In its simplest form, an individualised funding package is the provision of direct payments to people in order to purchase services they require, which is a transformative idea giving power to the service user. Payments can be made directly to the individual requiring support or an intermediary/broker who offers financial and/or case management. Alternatively, the individual can direct block funding to a chosen service provider who meets the needs of the individual.

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