Michael Koziol reports in the Brisbane Times (9.6.16) on Professor Patrick McGorry's criticisms of the current government's under-funding of mental health services. McGorry, a former Australian of the Year, claims that cuts to specialist support programs show that the federal health bureaucracy is being stripped of its capacity to properly administer the area of mental health.
'Mental health has gone backwards under the Abbott-Turnbull government and health bureaucrats are ill-equipped to make decisions on programs and services, according to Australia's leading mental health advocate.
'Former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry said mental health was "missing in action" in the election campaign, despite a worsening suicide rate, which now claims eight Australian lives a day.
'He warned that a focus on "awareness" was counter-productive and perhaps even harmful, because it absolved policymakers from responsibility. "We've allowed awareness to substitute for action and investment," he said. "Well, we were wrong".'