Adult Mental Health Unit maxed out and understaffed

With the mental health unit at The Canberra Hospital maxed out for the better part of 2016-17, some mental health patients may slip through the cracks, unable to get the treatment they need, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said today.
Under questioning from the Opposition, Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury confirmed that the Adult Mental Health Unit at The Canberra Hospital had an average bed occupancy rate of 105 per cent in 2016-17.
“This government has allowed the bed numbers to fall as a proportion of population over the past ten years. The ACT’s bed numbers remain well below the national average,” Mrs Dunne said.
“We don’t have enough beds and we don’t have enough mental health professionals – this is a dangerous situation.
“The target bed occupancy at the hospital is 90 per cent. Having an occupancy rate of more than 100 per cent means that the hard-working mental health staff are under extreme pressure to cope with demand.
“The Minister says he is trying to recruit more mental health professionals. But he should have been doing that long before now. The current situation is bad for morale among our under-resourced professionals trying to meet the growing demand.
“Our mental health professionals need better support from the government.
“Without that support, I fear some mental health patients will slip through the cracks,” Mrs Dunne concluded.