NSW Labor is urging the Government to address serious gaps in mental health services across South-West Sydney, following a forum with experts at Oran Park.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay, the Shadow Minister for Mental Health Tara Moriarty and the Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Greg Warren hosted the event to identify gaps in mental health services in the rapidly growing South West Sydney area.
This follows the Government’s announcement yesterday of only 100 nurses thinly spread across 2,200 NSW schools and its failure to deliver on promises of more school counsellors first made during the election campaign two years ago.
Labor is also calling for the Government to back a Royal Commission into mental health and suicide in the upcoming State Budget.
Ms McKay said: “Communities across South-West Sydney have have been hit hard by the pandemic. Better mental health services are badly needed.
“This is about equality and fairness. South-West Sydney deserves the same level of care, funding and resourcing as the rest of the city and the State.”
Ms Moriarty said: “"Now more than ever it's important to acknowledge how people are feeling and to look at what’s needed to better support people's mental health.
“Today’s forum was an opportunity to hear from those who have been directly and indirectly impacted by mental health. One in five Australians are affected by mental illness annually. And this statistic is likely to worsen. The Government needs to step up and provide essential support.”
Mr Warren said: “There’s a systemic healthcare crisis in South Western Sydney. And that impacts all areas, including mental health services.
“The greatest example in recent memory was the two year absence of a full-time clinical psychologist at Campbelltown Hospital. Preventable issues like that cannot be allowed to occur."
The forum was held after doctors raised grave concerns about the region's mental health facilities at the parliamentary inquiry into the South Western Sydney Local Health District in August.