WA’s Mental Health Commissioner says he does not know how anyone manages to navigate their way through WA’s mental health system to find the help they need, particularly if they are unwell.
Tim Marney, who has been in the role since February, yesterday told a parliamentary hearing that even clinicians wanting to refer someone to a particular mental health service could find it difficult to do because referral pathways were not well defined.
Mr Marney said more resources were needed to assist people with finding the services they needed.
“I don’t know how anyone finds their way through the system to be honest, particu- larly if someone’s unwell,” Mr Marney said.
“It’s hard enough when you’re actually thinking clearly.”
Mr Marney said mental health services in WA relied far too heavily on acute services, with people often getting “very, very unwell” before they entered the system.
“The acute setting is really what we want to keep people away from.
“If the system works well, people don’t end up in hospital.”
The State Opposition yesterday moved in Parliament for an urgent parliamentary inquiry into the reasons behind suicide deaths among fly-in, fly-out workers.
But Mr Marney said outside the hearing an inquiry was not necessary because research had already been done on the subject and the cause factors were already known in broad terms.
He said he instead wanted to appoint a senior clinician to undertake case studies into the nine deaths in the past year.
“I think that broader look has been done, so we actually do know what contributes, but what we don’t know is what were the specific factors in these cases and what are the issues that the families were confronting prior to these people tragically taking their life,” Mr Marney said.
“We need to validate that research with these case studies.”
He said a draft of WA’s 10-year mental health plan would soon be released for public consultation.
This article first appeared on ‘Yahoo!7 News’ on 14 August 2014.