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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 149 asked in the Legislative Council on 27 March 2018 by Hon Nick Goiran

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 27 March 2018

149. Hon NICK GOIRAN to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Mental Health:
I refer to the increasing rate of reported suicides and the high rate of diagnosed mental health disorders in the South West Region.
      (1) Given the increasing need for mental health services in Busselton, why was a funding application for a psychiatric liaison nurse for Busselton Health Campus not approved?
      (2) What plans does the government have to address this escalating problem given that it is also cutting funding from other vital mental health services, such as Lamp Inc?
      (3) When will the step-up, step-down facility for Bunbury be operational?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. I am advised of the following.
      (1) WA Country Health Service is exploring options to fund a psychiatric liaison nurse at Busselton Health Campus. An application to fund the position through the WA Primary Health Alliance was unsuccessful. WACHS South West will review its existing workforce allocation to ascertain whether the position may be established internally.
      (2) The ''Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015–2025'' outlines priority settings for all levels of government and non-government stakeholders, based on the optimal mix of mental health, alcohol and other drug services required across Western Australia. Strategic priorities in the plan aim to keep people connected and close to home, and rebalance the system towards community support services.
      Overall, funding provided by the Mental Health Commission to the South West Region for mental health services has increased by approximately three per cent since 2016–17. An amount of $4.3 million is provided for services purchased from non-government organisations. As part of this $4.3 million, the Mental Health Commission purchases from Lamp personalised support and family and carer support for $339 606. A non-recurrent grant to Lamp of $78 230 for a 0.5 full-time equivalent housing support worker position in 2017–18 will finish in June 2018.
      Also included in this non-government organisation funding under the state government's suicide prevention strategy, ''Suicide Prevention 2020: Together we can save lives'', the Mental Health Commission provided two grants to deliver suicide prevention training to organisations in the South West Region. Further, the Mental Health Commission purchases a suicide prevention coordinator for the region, as well as an Aboriginal family wellbeing pilot project and peer support weekend workshops for rural and remote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex youth, all of which aim to improve mental health and wellbeing in the region.
      (3) Based on current projections, the Bunbury step-up, step-down service is anticipated to be operational by mid-2019.