W #Australia – Fwd: #MentalHealth Strategy pointless without an all of Government approach

Please take note and support the amazing commitment to positive change by my dear friend Alison Xamon. – tony @perthtones

Mental Health Strategy pointless without an all of Government approach

11 October 2011

The announcement today of the Governments long awaited strategy for mental health is pointless without an all of Government approach, the Greens said today.

The comments came following the launch of the 10 year vision for mental health in Western Australia.

“Whilst a strategy is welcome, it is meaningless unless every Minister in the Barnett/Grylls Government ensures that their policies and legislation are consistent with an approach to mental health that is focussed on recovery, removing stigma, and ensuring those with a mental illness are receiving the best possible access to resources,” said Alison Xamon, Greens spokesperson for Mental Health.

“Instead we have a Police Minister and Attorney General introducing draconian legislation which is inadvertently targeting those with a profound mental illness. We have a Correctional Services Minister overseeing the imprisonment of people with a mental illness in record numbers who are then not receiving the help they so desperately need. And a Housing Minister who has introduced punitive and simplistic policies which is leaving some of our most vulnerable citizens homeless.

“If the Minister for Mental Health and the Premier think that the introduction of a mental health strategy in isolation to the practices of the rest of their Government cuts it, then they are sorely mistaken.

“This Government likes to have it both ways. They want the kudos of establishing the Mental Health Commission and Ministry, yet they also want to appeal to simplistic and populist law and order policies which serve to further marginalise some of our most vulnerable members of the community.

“Dealing with the effects of profound mental illness within our community are complex. It requires us to pursue an holistic understanding towards some of our most vulnerable citizens. It means having the courage to stand up to ignorance within the community.

“Until this Government has demonstrated a willingness to do this, and a willingness to retract its most punitive and offensive legislation and policies which have served to further marginalise and oppress those with severe mental illness, then strategies such as that launched today will remain as meaningless rhetoric.

“Perhaps it is time for the Ministers to get out of the way and to allow those who work so hard in the field of mental health to get on with the job rather than making their lives harder with their destructive policies and legislation,” Ms Xamon concluded.

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

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