Labor commits to Headspace Meadowbrook
22 Jun 2016
TURNBULL MUST END UNCERTAINTY ON HEADSPACE AND EARLY PSYCHOSIS
Labor candidate for Forde, Des Hardman, today said the Turnbull Government must end its bickering over mental health funding and focus on protecting the Meadowbrook Headspace centre.
Early psychosis centres were just weeks away from budget cuts that would lead to their eventual closure in two years’ time.
Now, just days out from the election the Prime Minister has changed his tune, and backed Labor’s commitment to support headspace into the future.
The backflip by the Prime Minister is in direct conflict with his Health Minister, who has spent months defending her decision to close early psychosis centres and put Headspace centres out to tender.
The Health Minister confirmed this in person to Headspace managers during a speech earlier this year and letters from the Department of Health confirmed the impending closure of the early psychosis centres as recently as two weeks ago.
“The young people of Forde and their families deserve much better than last minute, late night TV election conversions,” said Mr Hardman, who today visited Meadowbrook Headspace centre with Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King.
“The Government must immediately provide a guarantee in writing about what the new arrangements will be and restore funding to early psychosis centres.”
Nelson, a local student and Headspace client said that he was concerned about the mixed messages from the Turnbull Government.
“When I heard that the Government was going to change the funding arrangements and that it could put the program at risk, it made me feel very anxious,” he said.
“I certainly hope that the funding continues, not for me but for the other young people who have no other early intervention service in Logan available.”
Piki, the mother of a young man who is receiving assistance through Headspace, said that she was concerned for the safety of the program’s clients.
“There would be serious consequences to the health of many young people who rely on this service, which includes my son. The risk of him engaging in dangerous behaviour, including self-harm, would be significantly higher if the support he currently receives were taken away."
“There are many families who desperately require this service, and the uncertainty around the program’s future is causing a lot of anxiety for people in Logan.”
Des Hardman, himself an experienced health professional, urged the Turnbull Government to be on the right side of this debate.
“The young people of Forde who rely on these services deserve certainty, not more Malcolm Turnbull rhetoric.”
WEDNESDAY, 22 JUNE 2016