Mandurah Youth Suicides: Federal reforms on the way


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the meeting.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the meeting.

THE State Mental Health Minister said her government would not be funding a youth mental health program, while the Federal Health Minister said her government was launching a mental health reform package, in response to a recent increase in youth suicide deaths in Mandurah.

State Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said her government would not fund GP Down South’s three tier youth mental health program.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley said her government was implementing a significant mental health reform package.

The Liberal MP said from July 1 their 31 Primary Health Networks (PHN’s) Australia-wide would be commissioning a range of mental health services, including suicide prevention.

“The Perth South PHN is very aware of the Peel Youth Medical Services proposal and that youth health (including mental health) services are a priority for the region,” she said.

“As an initial response to the situation here, I am working to ensure that services and resources are coordinated to support the school, young people and their parents.”

A delegation from Mandurah met with the Prime Minister and Ms Ley last Wednesday to discuss the recent increase in youth suicide deaths in Mandurah.

More here: PM enters funding talks with Mandurah delegation

The delegation was asking for $6 million for the Peel Youth Medical Service’s (PYMS) Health Hub, which would bring mental health, medical and social services under one roof.

Member for Canning Andrew Hastie called the urgent, behind closed doors meeting with Malcolm Turnbull, after six young people in Mandurah had taken their own lives since December.

More here: Mandurah community reeling after six teenage suicides.

He said there was a need in the community for better support services for young people to cope with depression, anxiety and relationship pressures.

Mr Hastie said the national suicide rate was double the road toll but did not receive the same attention.

“The PYMS Health Hub is a best practice, GP-centred model of care that will provide a suite of services for 12-24 year olds dealing with drug and alcohol issues, mental health issues, family dysfunction and homelessness,” he said.

“The group that met with the Prime Minister and Health Minister were united in their support for the project, across all levels of government and both sides of the political spectrum, as part of a working solution focused on early intervention and prevention.”