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Inadequate Provisions for Mental Health - Blue Mountain, Hawkesbury, Lithgow Penrith LGA's

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Mental Health Support in Wentworth Healthcare (NSW) has very little funding in the Local Government Areas and I believe that this needs to change. We need funding in order to maintain, or in fact improve on, mental health support within this communities in Western Sydney, Blue Mountains and Lithgow.

 To this day, mental health is still considered a rather taboo topic. There is a certain image that people have formed around what mental illness looks like, and if people do not fit that mould, they are often over looked. Many people look at mental illness as being both scary but also somewhat glamorised based on the diagnosis and stigma around them. Through trying to gain support, I am hoping that anyone who presents based on his or her personal struggles with mental illness, despite “not looking sick,” will be granted access. More often than not, those who struggle are told they are “over reacting” or to “grow up”, amongst other things, due to not being classed as acute enough to warrant a place within the public mental health system. The private system is often full and/or puts financial strain on people due to the high costs to receive the necessary help in an environment that is often more understanding.

 With the number of people being diagnosed with some form of mental illness, of which there are many both known and unknown by the vast majority of the population, I am led to ask the question as to how this has occurred with minimal changes in the public system to gain adequate mental health support.

 I would like to gain more services in the regions to create a mental health links in the regional Hospitals – Community Health. As I feel that there are different activities that the Community Health can help out with like counselling and Allied Health services. This will mean that more and more health Services will join the Mental health links in the future so this can create a better mental health Service in the Nepean Blue Mountain, Hawkesbury and Lithgow. I would also like to get better mental health beds in Hawkesbury and Lithgow.

 Transport to and from these services may come at a cost to the consumer especially for Emergency Services from Hawkesbury to Nepean hospital and also from Lithgow to Nepean hospital. I know that Lithgow and Hawkesbury should have a (PECC Unit) Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre Unit at each hospital so they don’t have to travel from Windsor to Nepean hospital (25 minutes) and Lithgow to Nepean Hospital (1 hour and 32 minutes) or Lithgow to Katoomba hospital (41 minutes). If a person is having a psychotic attack or suicidal ideation we need to have the support to get a Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre Unit in these hospitals.

 This is why I have created a petition for better mental health services and provisions for the Blue Mountain Nepean Hawkesbury and Lithgow Communities and beyond.

 The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to make the funding available for mental health in the region as there is very little Services and to build on mentally ill peoples support Network Hub. So, we can all can access different services from youth to Adulthood.

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