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Mental health report leaked: now it's time for action

The Australian Greens have called for a national conversation about mental health care reform following the leaked National Health Commission's review of mental health services.

Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Penny Wright said too many reviews of the sector had been ignored by previous governments.

"The Abbott Government must now release the full report and lead a genuine community discussion around long-term reform of the mental health system," Senator Wright said.

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Mental health services losing staff due to funding uncertainty

I move that the Senate:

1. notes the effects of Commonwealth funding uncertainty on the mental health sector, including staff loss, a reduction in services to clients and declining staff morale;

2. understands that 40 per cent of mental health organisations have already experienced loss of staff due to funding uncertainty, as outlined in a survey by Mental Health Australia;    

3. notes that skilled mental health practitioners have commenced leaving rural communities to find work in urban areas due to employment uncertainty;  

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More professional mental health workers needed in country areas

I move that the Senate:

1.      notes the study by Melbourne's Monash University which shows less people in rural, remote  and disadvantaged areas accessing mental health services;

2.      acknowledges that rates of severe mental illness are higher in the most disadvantaged areas;

3.      recognises that people in wealthier areas access psychologists and psychiatrists up to three times as much as those in the most disadvantaged areas; and

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