- New funding model to deliver expansion of existing service
- Improved access to mental health consultants and psychiatry services
The McGowan Government has announced $22.5 million of funding over five years to provide mental health care to older adults with acute mental health issues.
The funding for the Ursula Frayne unit at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital will expand the service with increased admission hours, enhanced access to consultants and stronger links to psychiatry services at St John of God Midland Public Hospital.
The unit helps older adults learn how to manage their symptoms with the goal of giving them a better understanding of how lifestyle factors impact mood and mental health, help them address their mental health issues and reduce the risk of relapse.
It is estimated that about 10-15 per cent of older people experience depression and about 10 per cent experience anxiety. Eleven per cent of adults aged 65 years and older in Australia who attend a hospital emergency department present with a mental health issue.
The McGowan Government is spending more on mental health services than ever before. In 2018-19, a record $918.4 million will be provided to fund mental health, alcohol and other drug services.
As stated by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Older Western Australians can be vulnerable to mental health issues including depression brought on by loneliness, isolation or physical impairments. This service is one way we can help them continue to enjoy happy productive lives.
“I want to see all Western Australians thrive; mental health is about social interaction and the way we think, feel and maintain relationships.
“The McGowan Government recognises the important role of specialist mental health services for older Western Australians and is continuing to work with service providers on all levels to increase the mental health support available to all Western Australians.”