Office for Mental Health was not worth the wait

The long-overdue Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing was not worth the wait, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.
“I am completely underwhelmed by Minister Rattenbury’s long-awaited solution to issues in Canberra’s mental health system,” Mrs Dunne said.
“It has taken Minister Rattenbury more than 18 months to establish the bleeding obvious: that the Office for Mental Health should have a whole of government focus.
“We already knew that mental health services needed to be available and coordinated across ACT government agencies.
“Further, the total budget of $2.9 million over four years will pay for little more than administration.
“This will not address the chronic shortage of mental health specialists and the rising demand for specialised treatment.
“We simply don’t have enough mental health professionals, particularly in the field of child and adolescent mental health.
“As far as we can tell there are no permanent, full-time psychiatrists at The Canberra Hospital’s Acute Mental Health Unit.
“Minister Rattenbury’s announcement denies the reality that people with a mental health illness desperately need specialised services, and a mental health system that is easy to navigate.
“For more than 18 months, Minister Rattenbury has pinned all his solutions to issues in the mental health system to this Office.
“Now, after 18 months of thinking about the Office, Minister Rattenbury has very little to show for it.
“This is a major let-down,” Mrs Dunne concluded.