Resources are stretched

THE Health Department has shown no indication of plans for any kind of 24-hour mental health care in Grafton.

In a statement released yesterday, Mental Health Services director Richard Buss said the provision of any on-the-ground 24-hour services would require more funding and resources.

"The Mental Health Service continues to work towards providing additional and expanded services within the local community," he said.

The response came following the launch of The Daily Examiner's Stand Up for Mental Health campaign yesterday, which saw local woman Felicity Watson call for better services.

Mr Buss highlighted what was already available in Grafton, which is an acute service from 8am-8pm.

"Services are also provided over the weekend," he said.

"There is also an Extended Care Service which includes specialist services for young people aged 12 to 18 which operates five days a week from 8.30-5pm."

According to Mr Buss, the services were provided by teams that included nurses, psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists.

Apart from that, patients needed to rely on non-government organisations, which could provide housing and support for carers.

Mr Buss said if an individual presented to the mental health service or the emergency department and was assessed as requiring admission, they wouldn't be discharged.

"Mental health services have expanded over the past few years and services are provided for a range of specific population groups," he said.

 Mental Health Services provides a 24-hour Mental Health Line that can be contacted on 1800 011 511.



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