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    Over a year ago the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission identified the need for a national anti-stigma campaign focusing on mental health. It was one of twelve recommendations made in relation to mental health, a recommendation supported by the Federal government. Today, a state government has taken a real step towards implementing this recommendation, at least in Queensland. Mr David Crosbie, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia said; “the Queensland government is to be commended for taking this important step to reduce the level of discrimination experienced by people with a mental illness and their carers.”

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    The Rudd Government has claimed that this is a “good budget for mental health”. The Government is wrong. There is no significant increase in funding for mental health.

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    The Government called this a “no frills” Budget – but despite the increased expenditure in health care, mental health has been relegated to a very thin line of lace on the periphery of a substantive new investment mostly into hospital services. “Although the Government has now supported all these recommendations, there is limited funding and no implementation plan”, said CEO David Crosbie.

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    State and territory leaders should demonstrate their commitment to mental health reform by allocating at least half the promised new sub-acute care beds to mental health consumers. “As the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission highlighted, mental health is a neglected area of health care and there is a critical demand for more community based beds outside of the hospital system”, said David Crosbie, CEO of the MHCA .

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    State and territory leaders should demonstrate their commitment to mental health reform by allocating at least half the promised new sub-acute care beds to mental health consumers. “As the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission highlighted, mental health is a neglected area of health care and there is a critical demand for more community based beds outside of the hospital system”, said David Crosbie, CEO of the MHCA .

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    The Mental Health Council of Australia has welcomed Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to reform mental health, including accepting greater responsibility for community mental health, but is disappointed that the Commonwealth did not go further. According to David Crosbie, MHCA CEO , “the measures outlined by the Prime Minister today are good first steps, but mental health reform clearly remains unfinished business.”

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    The Mental Health Council of Australia has welcomed Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to reform mental health, including accepting greater responsibility for community mental health, but is disappointed that the Commonwealth did not go further. According to David Crosbie, MHCA CEO , “the measures outlined by the Prime Minister today are good first steps, but mental health reform clearly remains unfinished business.”

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    Health Minister Roxon’s announcement that the Commonwealth plans to take a more active role in community mental health is welcomed by the Mental Health Council of Australia. “The Minister has highlighted how the current system leads to people with a mental health disorder presenting to hospital in situations when better community mental health could have made a difference. These statements suggest the Minister understands what is actually happening to mental health consumers and their carers”, said David Crosbie, MHCA CEO .

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    Health Minister Roxon’s announcement that the Commonwealth plans to take a more active role in community mental health is welcomed by the Mental Health Council of Australia. “The Minister has highlighted how the current system leads to people with a mental health disorder presenting to hospital in situations when better community mental health could have made a difference. These statements suggest the Minister understands what is actually happening to mental health consumers and their carers”, said David Crosbie, MHCA CEO .

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    A group of leading national prevention and community health organisations led by the Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry, is calling on the Prime Minister, premiers and chief ministers to include fundamental principles on prevention, mental and Indigenous health at next week’s Council of Australian Governments meeting. “Unless we see reforms in these areas we will not reduce Australia’s dependence on hospital based care”, Professor McGorry said.

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