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.
Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Penny Wright, and Greens Leader Christine Milne today launched the Greens' Rural Mental Health Services Online Consultation website in Port Augusta to give Australians living in rural areas a chance to have their say on mental health services in their regions.
Strengthening and promoting already existing partnerships must be a key element of tackling gaps in mental health services in rural, regional and remote areas, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said.
Senator Wright said she was impressed by some of the innovative programs she saw in communities she visited as part of the first leg of her Australian-wide rural mental health consultation tour, such as the Men's Resource Centre in Albany, Western Australia.
Senator WRIGHT: I have some questions regarding rural distribution of mental health workers. It is well understood that people living in rural and remote Australia generally experience mental illness at levels equivalent to people living in metropolitan areas, but rural Australians face greater challenges as a result of a lack of access to services and specialised health professionals. Is the department undertaking any measures to address the unequal distribution of health professionals between rural and urban areas and, if so, what measures or programs are there?
Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, will travel to Western Australia today to begin the first leg of an Australian-wide tour to hear about the unique issues affecting mental health care services for Australians living in rural, regional and remote areas.
Senator Wright said while the Federal Government had injected a significant amount of funding into mental health over the past two years, people living in rural and remote areas were still encountering problems accessing quality mental health services compared to their urban counterparts.