Mental Health High On The Priority List

25 October 2016


Federal Member for Oxley Milton Dick MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Senator Deborah O’Neill will today convene the ‘Oxley Community Mental Health Forum’ at the Salvation Army, Goodna, with over 20 service agencies and organisations in attendance.

This important gathering of key mental health service providers will discuss the challenges facing the sector along with a Q&A session with both representatives.

This will be followed by a visit to Headspace Inala to meet program managers and a walkthrough of the Inala Community Health Centre Inala Community Health Centre with Executive Director Dr Balaji Motamarri & Deputy Director Psychosis Anne Steginga.

“It’s vital that we bring together our valued mental health service providers and organisations to ensure that we are providing the best support to the 3.6 million Australians who experience mental health problems” said Mr Dick.

“This community forum today gives an opportunity for mental health organisations to have their say and for myself and Senator O’Neill the chance to listen to the most important needs of the sector”

In addition to the 3.6 million adult Australians who experience mental health problems, around 600,000 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 17 are affected by a clinically significant mental health problem.

Labor's Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Senator Deborah O'Neill was pleased to join Mr Dick in his electorate and to express Labor's commitment to mental health and wellbeing.

Senator O'Neill said "I commend the new Labor Member for Oxley, Milton Dick for taking the initiative to hold this round table in his electorate. Milton is passionate to deliver first-class mental health services to his constituents and I am honoured to join him today"

"I delighted that Oxley will be the first mental health round table I convene with local members in this 45th parliament. Milton's determination to deliver for his community is formidable"

 "When I speak with members of the mental health community, patients, providers, health professionals and families they are calling out for national leadership"

"Labor announced a target for a target for a 50 per cent reduction in suicides over the next ten years. The government has not declared any such target.

"Labor understands that a strong mental health policy that puts government, providers and patients at the centre of a coordinated response,"

According to the ABS, 3,027 Australians died by suicide in 2015 – a 5.4 per cent increase from the previous year.

“These statistics are a clear indicator that more needs to be done to reduce the rates of mental illness and suicide” said Mr Dick.

“I’ll be continuing to work closely with the mental health service providers in Oxley to ensure they are receiving the best support available”


**For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978**