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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

mental health « Previous | |Next »
May 19, 2008

In an op-ed in The Australian Ross Fitzgerald says that:

For those concerned about mental health, the Rudd-Swan federal budget is a huge disappointment. The only new measure is the allocation of $2.4 million over three years to establish a national advisory council on mental health to co-ordinate commonwealth, state and territory services to people with a mental illness, but there are no new funds for this or other services.

Yet although about 20 per cent of the population have significant mental health problems, about half do not receive adequate treatment. This especially applies to those with a dual diagnosis.

Dual-diagnosis patients have a psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, serious depression or bipolar disorders, coupled with a major problem with substance abuse. These patients are often the most difficult to treat because substance abuse interferes with psychological and pharmacological treatments. Specialists in the field estimate that, in the wider community, 50 per cent to 60 per cent of those using chronic and acute mental health services in Australia have substance abuse disorders as well.

The public health system is poorly resourced to treat these people, due to the emphasis on quick turnaround in our public hospitals. During the last years of the Howard government, there was increased access to psychologists and social workers through Medicare and the provision of mental health nurses for psychiatrists and general practitioners.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:30 AM | | Comments (3)


the lack in the mental health budget can't be a surprise to many of the consumers of professional mental health care

The story as I know it, is that the profession are up to their necks in dealing with people who have been forced into mental health crisis by criminals, because they were about to speak out about what criminals are up to. Especially whatever corruption exists among police, tends to be protected by the drug dealers who are advantaged by that corruption, through those drug dealers imposing conditons causal to mental illnesses on anybody who is likely to try to speak out.

(bear with me please because I am not always sure about whether my own way of telling this story is able to come across in full sanity: as is the intention of the criminals who have repeatedly tried to silence me)

Obviously there are also real patients to deal with, and those patients who really need mental health services on hand, rather than law and order and social justice, are often being allowed to slip through the system.

Eventually the government is going to have to be far more careful about differentiating between a criminal pathology in mental health, and any other mental health crisis. The difficulty often proves to be that the police psychologists have all belief in indigenous culture branded as insanity, within their own definitions. That in turn tends to prove them insane readily enough, and many criminals thereby have taken advantage of the police, but blaming all insanity on the police on that basis.

Weird stuff huh! But what makes it weird is only that nobody wants to have it out in the open. The social stigma of having a mental illness, will be changing though, gradually, into a social kudos of having survived outing corruption and crime.


I must confess to finding it very difficult to get too fired up over budgets. As you seem to be on top of it, please explain to me all these messages I am getting from the MSM that the majority of the population is pissed off with the Budget. Are they accurate?

Given how Swan squibbed making the necessary big cuts this time, how will The Battlers (whoever owns them this week) react when that tough budget DOES come?

Recent reports and rumors that Congress is passing mandatory mental health screening legislation have been circulating the airwaves and media outlets. HSLDA has been watching and working behind the scenes on this issue for some time. Our concern stems from any attempt by the government to usurp the right of parents to direct the medical decisions of their children, including what medical tests their children receive and who tests them.

Unfortunately, the media reports have often been inaccurate. There is NO mandatory mental health testing requirement being imposed upon states or local schools. However, there is still a cause for concern and a need for continued vigilance.



Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis