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Mental health services losing staff due to funding uncertainty

I move that the Senate:

1. notes the effects of Commonwealth funding uncertainty on the mental health sector, including staff loss, a reduction in services to clients and declining staff morale;

2. understands that 40 per cent of mental health organisations have already experienced loss of staff due to funding uncertainty, as outlined in a survey by Mental Health Australia;    

3. notes that skilled mental health practitioners have commenced leaving rural communities to find work in urban areas due to employment uncertainty;  

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Migration Bill contravenes human rights

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (11:37):  I rise to speak on the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014, which seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958. If those listening to the debate today take away nothing else, I would ask them to take away the understanding that this bill, if passed, has the very real likelihood of Australia deporting people-fellow human beings-who have come to us legally-

Senator O'Sullivan:  Illegally.

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More professional mental health workers needed in country areas

I move that the Senate:

1.      notes the study by Melbourne's Monash University which shows less people in rural, remote  and disadvantaged areas accessing mental health services;

2.      acknowledges that rates of severe mental illness are higher in the most disadvantaged areas;

3.      recognises that people in wealthier areas access psychologists and psychiatrists up to three times as much as those in the most disadvantaged areas; and

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