Queensland’s Mental Health Commission has launched a study to map out the extent of support services in remote parts of the state. It is surveying providers to gauge what support is available to people with mental illness or substance abuse in the north-west, central west and south-west health districts. Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck said many locals have complained services either do not link up or compete with each other. “It means they might go to one place when they’ve gone to, if you like, the wrong door, so there are many wrong doors as opposed to no wrong door,” Dr van Schoubroeck said. “It means one service doesn’t know that the service down the street is actually better but they don’t even know it’s actually there, let along that they can link them across.”
Dr van Schoubroeck said despite the relatively small population, many people still did not know the extent of help that was available. “I’ve sat around tables with people [in] Charleville and they have said exactly that and in Mount Isa there are services there, we can’t find them, we don’t know who to link to whom,” she said. “Lots of people assume it’s a country town everybody knows everybody but that’s not how it works.” The commission is holding focus groups with service providers in Roma, Charleville Longreach and Mount Isa this month.
This article first appeared ABC, 16 March 2015.