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Tasmania next stop on Senator’s rural mental health tour

Media Release
Penny Wright 2 Oct 2012

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, will visit Tasmania as part of her Australia-wide regional, rural and remote mental health services consultation this week.

 "I really want to get a comprehensive picture of the unique challenges faced by people living in regional, rural and remote areas when it comes to accessing mental health services," Senator Wright said.

 "During my previous visits to Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales, I have been very impressed by some of the creative and innovative solutions communities have come up with in response to these challenges and I'm keen to hear more.

 "After talking to a number of individuals and organisations in various towns throughout country Australia I can see that there are consistent issues that communities are struggling with across the board, such as workforce pressures and lack of housing and crisis accommodation.

 "About a third of Australians live in country areas, yet less than 10 per cent of psychiatrists practise there.

 "It is unacceptable that people living in country Australia have difficulty accessing the same high quality services as their urban counterparts, and as a result miss out on vital treatment.

 "We need to identify the gaps in service delivery in country Australia so that we can determine what actions need to be taken to build healthier, more resilient communities.  Regardless of where a person lives, if they are experiencing mental ill-health they should be able to access adequate support services that will enable them live healthy and happy lives."

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