News

Mental health meltdown

GLADSTONE is sadly lacking in mental health services, largely due to bureaucracy.

General practitioner John Bird said the concentration of mental health services was in cities, despite higher rates of mental illness and suicide occurring in rural and regional centres.

"(In Gladstone) we don't have an independent service that can step up in it's own right," he said.

"We often see patients who can't adequately be cared for by their GPs moved to the emergency department at a date when they've hit a crisis point."

In this sense, the issue becomes the responsibility of both state and federal politics.

Funding for hospitals derives from a state and federal level, management of hospitals falls under state legislation and Medicare under Federal.

State MP Glenn Butcher and Federal MP Ken O'Dowd admit they have each been affected, however distantly, by issues of mental health.

Despite this, both continue to shift the blame between each other, while claiming they are succeeding in delivering services.

Mr Butcher said he was focused on improving services, although his efforts may be compromised by federal funding slashes.

"I am very worried about the $574 million the Abbott government is planning to cut from our local area's health funding. Federal health cuts make it very hard to expand mental health support," he said.

"This is an important service which will continue. However there are a wider group that need improved support from Medicare to access support and psychological services as released in the (recent) national Mental Health Commission Review of Services."

The comments come as Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced a national reform for mental health services.

"Commonwealth funding for public health services has increased by 9% this year and will increase by 9% next year and the year after as well," a spokesperson for Ken O'Dowd said.

At the beginning of April, The Observer revealed 56 suicides had occurred in Gladstone over the past three years.

Helen Treseder is another Gladstone local who is fed up with a lack of services, and the tendency of governments to shift responsibility.

She is organising a free public consultation meeting to invite opinion about mental health services in Gladstone. Two open meetings will be held at Shed 19 on April 29 at 1.30pm and 6.30pm. RSVP to helen _tres@outlook.com.

Topics:  mental health, services



Experts take hundreds of calls from 'sonic boom': Here's their thoughts

WHAT WAS THAT? Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, was inundated with calls after Gladstone's light display.

See what the experts say about what caused a sonic boom in Gladstone

Flashing light, boom, tremor: What we know so far

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower as a photographer wipes moisture from the camera lenses Friday, August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

What's been ruled out as the cause of flashing light, boom.

WATCH: Government footage of 'fireball' lighting up sky

EARTH TREMORS felt in the Gladstone with footage of bright light.

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.