NSW Labor is calling for the Government to back a Royal Commission into mental health and suicide in the upcoming State Budget.
“In the past 12 months, the community has faced enormous mental health challenges,” said the NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay.
“I’m calling for a Royal Commission so we can hear from people with mental health conditions and ensure everyone gets the help and support they need.”
Ms McKay said a Royal Commission should focus on regional and rural NSW and on young people.
“For 10 years the Government has overseen a mental health system that for a range of reasons isn’t meeting the needs of people in crisis,” Ms McKay said.
- In 2019, nearly 1,000 people died by suicide in NSW
- Around four in 10 mental health patients wait more than four hours for emergency care, with some waiting as long as 24 hours in the emergency department
- In Australia, NSW spends the lowest proportion of its budget on community-managed mental health care
“Mental health is a huge problem and families are going through hell across NSW because they’re not getting the support they need,” Ms McKay said.
“What more can be done from prevention and early intervention right through to the emergency response and acute care? Is there adequate funding and co-ordination between services?”
The Shadow Minister for Mental Health Tara Moriarty said the problem touches every community.
“We must urgently ensure mental health services are accessible for young people and for everyone in regional and rural NSW.”
“We’ll work with service providers and people who’ve experienced mental illness to determine exactly what issues need to be looked at.
“These people deserve a voice and we can learn from them,” Ms Moriarty said.
Ms McKay added this is not about party politics or assigning blame.
“If the Government launches a Royal Commission into mental health it will have bipartisan support. I’ll stand with the Premier to save lives,” Ms McKay said.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health issues, reach out and get support available to you:
- Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Mensline – 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800