General News Politics — 22 August 2013
Greens launch rural mental health plan

The Australian Greens have announced a $550 million policy to expand mental health services in rural and regional areas.

The party says its three-year plan is the result of visits to communities to ask about their needs.

“The current rural mental health workforce is understaffed, under-resourced and under-trained, with almost 90 per cent of psychiatrists and two thirds of mental health nurses based in major cities,” spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said in a statement.

“This leaves the 30 per cent of Australians who live in rural and regional areas without life-saving services and care.”

Senator Wright said the money would be spent on initiatives such as expanding the Headspace youth mental health program to other age groups, more community centres and outreach services.

She said the policy would help attract and keep staff in regional areas.

“Years of under-investment in rural mental health continues to cost lives all across country Australia,” Senator Wright said.
As first appeared in news.com.au by AAP, 21 August 2013

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