The campaign to improve Campbelltown Hospital’s mental health units has now reached State Parliament, after the children’s facility was described as part of the “crisis in mental health care.”
Campbelltown state Labor MP Greg Warren today raised a Private Member’s Statement to address the urgent need for government funding for the hospital’s children’s and adolescent mental health unit Gna Ka Lun.
“Mental illness and mental health care is often overlooked among the broader health system, but it is something that is increasingly common and something that we as legislators must take very seriously,” Mr Warren said.
“Within my own electorate, the Gna ka lun unit is a part of
the inpatient services at Campbelltown Hospital; carers at this facility say that it is
suffering from a severe lack of the resources needed to ensure that this critical
service is effective in putting children on the path to recovery.
“It is clear that the people of Campbelltown and the greater Macarthur region deserve
better and action needs to be taken to combat this growing issue.”
Mr Warren said he was disappointed that $60 million worth of funding promised by the former labor government to upgrade mental health units at the hospital was cut by the Liberal government.
He called for the funding to be reinstated, and thanked volunteers for their dedication in improving the units out of their own pockets.
“All of the wonderful people working in the mental health unit at Campbelltown Hospital, as well as in not-for-profit organisations supporting people with mental health issues — such
as Sandra McDonald and the team at Beautiful Minds — cannot be expected to go it
alone, they need the support of government and subsequent funding to be able to
do what they do best,” Mr Warren said.
“I note and welcome the (mental health) minister (Tanya Davies) and Member for Camden’s (Chris Patterson) recent visit to Campbelltown, however find it somewhat perplexing for a minister and member of a government to label a facility ‘gloomy’ when are the very same people who supported the funding cut for mental health.
“I call on the Member for Wollondilly (Jai Rowell), as well as the member for Camden and in fact all other Government Members, to join me in calling to urge the minister to reinstate
funding for much-needed upgrades at our mental health facilities.”
Beautiful Minds founder Sandra Mcdonald said it was uncommon for mental health to receive such focus in parliament, and hoped the conversation would continue and eventuate in change.
“I think it’s excellent and about time,” she said.
“The only way we are going to get change is if people like Mr Warren speak up and keep talking about this so we can get the funding for these units.
“Politicians like to put their two cents in but we need to see dollars to fix this problem.”
The Macarthur Chronicle reported last week that Ms Davies is considering what needs to be done after her visit to the facility. She discussed possible improvements with Mrs McDonald during her visit. “I’m here to see what would assist the young people and I’ll take that back and start working on it,’’ she said.
This piece was first seen on ‘The Daily Telegraph’ May 24 2017.