Submitted by Editor on Thu, 07/10/2004 - 01:59

Family First Party has called on the Federal Government to recognise mental health as a national problem and to make mental health counselling Medicare funded or tax deductible.

Matt Burnet

Thursday 7th October 2004

The party called for an inquiry into the mental health problem to determine solutions that would offer more quality of life to adult mental health sufferers, particularly those who live alone in hostel accommodation. Medicare funded counselling services would make early intervention more effective.

Family First's lead Senate candidate for Queensland, John Lewis, declared that these initiatives are necessary in the fight to curb a spiralling mental health problem. "The Federal Government must increase its investment in early intervention measures to curb a spiralling mental health crisis in Australia," Mr Lewis declared. "People with mental health problems are being squeezed out of family homes, out of hostels, and onto the streets through lack of

government and community support. Their combined income from Disability Support Pension and Rent Allowance is $563 per fortnight, of which 75 to 85 % is deposited directly into the account of the hostel, leaving them with $40 -$70 per week for all other expenses. Because of their conditions, their management of personal funds and property is often inadequate and they are open to being ripped off."

"They are unemployable mostly and have long periods of the day with nothing constructive to do with their time. There is an occasional visit from a social worker and a doctor, but no support relating to quality of life, such as transport and community involvement."

Mr Lewis also called on all political parties and community leaders to unite to fight the scourge of suicide. It is now the leading cause of death for young Australians (ABS, 2003), ahead of car accidents and homicides.

Mr Lewis announced that Family First wants to see the Federal Government show more concern for the increasing numbers of Australians who suffer from mental health problems such as chronic depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.

"Counselling fees of up to $100 per hour are driving mental health sufferers away from vital early intervention solutions."

MARK BADHAM: 0412 234 440

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Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/05/2006 - 17:27.

the only thing mental health sufferers need are friends.
But this ofcourse is rare.
They should not make friends with other sufferes as they feed off one another and cause problems for themselves.
They most definitely do not need a paid friend!
There are enough of these pathetic scroungers as it is.
They need employment,a social life, practical advice and help managing money, easy to access/ close medical services and stable accomadation.
I know of a lovely hostel in Clayfield Brisbane where the residents are being cared for appropriately and at little profit to the owner/manager. Yes they have to pay but they are happy and do not care less about money.They have few other expenses and as you say most of us (mental health patients can't control our spending anyway
So why waste more tax payers money on us?
All we need is for the government to protect us from the scum that leach off us financially everyday:the mental health proffessionals!
(Besides the underpaid hardworking nurses who actually care.)



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