Mental health pledge

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

The upgrade, which would add 55 acute mental health beds, bringing the total at JHC to 100, is the centrepiece of Labor’s mental health policy.

Mr McGowan said the upgrade would include 20 beds for young people with mental health issues.

‘Our State’s mental health system is failing some of our most vulnerable people,’ he said.

Mr McGowan said the facility would reduce the pressure on JHC’s emergency department as well as save lives. ‘Of the people who commit suicide, 15 to 20 per cent have been released from a mental health facility that day,’ he said.

JHC chief executive Kempton Cowan said mental health was ‘the highest area of need’ at the hospital.

‘The demand for mental health beds has put pressure on both the emergency department and the mental health unit,’ Mr Cowan said.

‘As the northern suburbs grow, we are treating a record number of patients.

‘We are experiencing high demand for many services including mental health.’

Labor’s policy also includes a commitment of $6 million to build supported accommodation for people suffering mental illnesses and $200,000 to support the Mental Health Law Centre of WA.