In 1954 the first of many changes in mental health began to race ahead. New pharmacy drugs meant that people could leave institutions and psychiatric hospitals and Community Psychiatry became a commonplace phrase.
In the 1960s newer “psychological therapy” techniques emerged – particularly group therapy and family therapy. The bio-psycho-social model of assessment and treatment was developed. Community self help groups emerged and governments started to see that mental health costs could be lowered if people took “self responsibility”, took “their medication” and the institutions were closed down.
Older buildings surrounded by lush green lawns and trees were replaced by housing developments – sometimes governments were paid by property developers. Often the State Health Departments had to change to Community Mental Health with no transition funding for the replacement services. The 1990s saw the first of a new set of anti-depressant medications which reinforced the belief that people did not need accommodation support, lengthy hospital inpatient stay, asylums or public housing. As a result homelessness, street sleeping, sleeping rough and street begging all increased. Now people in centre politics accept these as commonplace.
- I will work to restore the dignity of the individual, resources for both individuals and families in mental health services.
- I will work to reduce suicide, to reduce family violence and family trauma.
- I will work to introduce new assessment and and court diversion programs for young people and first offenders with mental health problems.
- I will work to better resource school counsellors and school welfare staff. And to reduce the stigma of poverty for school children and students.
- I will work for families to get support to identify behavioural changes and early signs of mental illness.
- I will work to introduce voluntary tablet and medication testing at music festivals.
- I will work to better resource mental health workers in alcohol and drug treatment.
- I will work to increase social housing stock in the cities and regions of Victoria.
- I will ensure that home support mental health workers assess the homes of the mentally ill prior to discharge from acute mental wards for stocks of food/meals, cleanliness and livability and neighbour issues.
- I will ensure care plans offer a range of interventions, not just CBT and ACT therapies which may not be suitable for every mental health patient.
- I will work for a review of the Mental Health Act to ensure that it covers all people with mental health problems – not just “those with a serious mental illness”.
- should appropriate medications not be available on the PBS I will ensure they are listed for discussion on the COAG (Council of Australian Governments’) Health Agenda