Mental health care in Peel in the spotlight ahead of State Election


Dawesville Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup and Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell.
Dawesville Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup and Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell.

YOUNG people struggling with mental illness in the Peel Region have been thrust to the forefront of the State Election with promises coming hard and fast in regards to their care.

A re-elected Liberal Government would fund a Hospital in the Home service out of Peel Health Campus.

This would see 130 children aged from 12 to 18 receive clinical care at home.

Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell was in Mandurah on Thursday to make this announcement, along with Dawesville Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup.

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The announcement has been slammed by Mandurah MLA David Templeman.

“I am disgusted with this minister, this Liberal Government and this announcement,” he said.

“The point is this announcement has come out of nowhere; when WA Labor pointed out about the appalling resourcing of mental health services in the region as late as November last year, she said the area was adequately serviced.”

Ms Mitchell said the South-West and Peel were chosen for the trial because child and youth mental health was a significant community issue in these areas.

Mr Templeman said the one-year trial was being offered to “keep us quiet”.

However, Mr Kirkup said mental health was a complex issue for any government.

He said there was a critical need in Mandurah for mental health services.

“This is a WA first pioneering project,” he said.

“I’ve been working closely with the minister.”

Ms Mitchell said the home environment can often be a better setting for the patients requiring treatment.

“Patients will be deemed hospital patients but will receive individualised hospital-level care in a home-based setting,” she said.

Recent figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority showed 7785 people dropped their private health cover in December.

Private Healthcare Australia figures show that 90 per cent of day admissions for mental health care and 50 per cent of all mental health admissions are funded through private health.

When Ms Mitchell was asked if she was anticipating a rise in the amount of mental health patients accessing the public health system, due to people cancelling their cover, she was unperturbed.

Ms Mitchell said her government had increased investment in mental health services by 84 per cent to $865.8 million.