Women and youth deserve better, tailored mental health care


Speech in Parliament - Lidia Thorpe: In recent weeks I have been providing support to a constituent in my electorate. She is a young woman of 19 who has been admitted under the Mental Health Act 2014 as an inpatient to the Northern Health psychiatric unit in the intensive care unit.

She is currently sharing a ward with three older men and has felt uncomfortable or even threatened by their behaviours at times. While the hospital is sympathetic, there are no alternative wards available.

They have tried to admit her to Orygen, a specialist young persons’ mental health unit; however, she lives outside the catchment area and thus is not eligible for admission. It is a terrible situation that we face in our mental health sector.

Not only are our community mental health services starved of funding for people with episodic mental illness, but there are few services just for young people suffering mild or acute mental illness. There are also very few acute mental health services that provide an environment where women feel safe and can be guaranteed protection from abuse.

The Greens call on the government to take concerted action and provide investment in safe care for women in mental health facilities and expand youth-specific acute mental health care.