Investing in community mental health services does not resolve the views of ED overcrowding experts

South Australia’s Prime Minister Steven Marshall has been criticized for his government’s new investment in community mental health services to relieve pressure from overcrowded hospital emergency departments (EDs).

The $ 134 million ($ 98 million) mental health package affiliated with the federal suicide prevention program includes one in northern Adelaide, one in Mount Barker, and four open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Includes a new Adult Mental Health Center. The other two throughout the state.

Other programs included in the package include a new headspace site for young people to support people aged 12 to 25 years who are suffering from mental illness, alcohol, or narcotics. Additional funding to provide best practice mental health care for veterans. Establish an Aboriginal Mental Health and Welfare Center to provide direct and culturally relevant services to Aboriginal people.

“Importantly, these additional services relieve the pressure of the emergency department and provide mental health care in a better environment,” Marshall said on social media.

However, Dr. Paul First, director of the SA branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand Psychiatrist University, said Thursday that investment in community mental health (MH) would be welcomed but would ease ED pressure. He said it was showing a disconnection from the house.

“Experts know that ED access blocks aren’t due to community demand, but to inpatients who can’t get a bed,” he said.

“Building a parallel community system involves risks, and history suggests that it leads to waste of public resources and increased bureaucracy.”

“Will he (Marshall) work on more MH rehab beds?” First added, as experts say the mental health center will not resolve the overcrowding and surge of ED.

This was after opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said at the start of the Labor Party campaign in February that it was a major driver of the crisis of a surge in inadequate mental health services in the state.

Lamping is when the emergency caregiver needs to continue caring for the patient rather than handing over clinical responsibility to the ED.

According to Malinauskas, many ED beds are occupied by mental health patients because they have no other place to go to the hospital, leaving urgent patients who need to wait for an ambulance in an ambulance.

November 2021, ABC SA’s medical system reported that it was addressing an ongoing surge in crisis, with some patients spending up to five hours behind an ambulance.

Therefore, if elected Prime Minister and promised 300 new beds and 100 new doctors in four years, Marinauskas said the Labor Party government mentally 98 new beds, including Modbury’s three new 24-bed mental health wards. He said he would devote himself to health. The number of mental health beds at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Noarunga Hospital, and Mount Gambier Hospital has also doubled.

While the recent additions to the mental health policy by the Marshall government have focused on the community, their policy page also focuses on hospital mental health facilities.

For example, a new hospitalization facility was opened at Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and a 20-bed acute mental health unit for the elderly was opened at Modbury Hospital.

The Marshall government has also increased the capacity of the psychiatric intensive care unit and opened a neurobehavioral unit at Lepat Hospital.

In addition, Marshall has promised $ 27.4 million ($ 20 million) to increase mental health support at school, enabling early intervention when mental health concerns first arise.

The Epoch Times asked the Prime Minister’s Office for comment, but did not respond at the time of publication.

Steve Milne


Steve is a Sydney-based Australian reporter with sports, arts and politics. He is an experienced English teacher, a qualified nutritionist, a sports enthusiast, and an amateur musician. Contact him at [email protected]