EDITORIAL: New beds offer some relief from mental health crisis

Maitland’s ongoing mental health crisis may have been given a slight reprieve with plans for a new mental health unit at the city’s private hospital but clearly more needs to be done.

While Maitland Private Hospital has had the foresight to build a 43-bed unit to help those living with mental illness – and the expected increase in those requiring this specialised care – other services and facilities are buckling under the strain.

Not least Maitland Hospital’s own mental health unit, which recently reported an unusual peak in demand with patients being transferred to other facilities across the region.

Earlier this year the Baird government made the cost-cutting decision to close the free Hunter New England Health district counselling service forcing many clients into the hands of other organisations including headspace Maitland and Hunter Medicare Local.

Since then, reports have emerged that the region’s social workers and psychologists are being overwhelmed as people reach desperation point in their search for help.

Labor has responded with an urgent call for the service to be reinstated as a matter of urgency.

The need to help those battling mental illness is, and always will be, never ending. Therefore the elimination of any service will be reverberated across an entire community.

As one concerned Hunter resident said: “These changes will not reach enough people and it’s a tragedy for the Hunter and will become a tragedy for the state of NSW.”

It appears this prediction is coming true.

That being said, the plans for Maitland Private Hospital are a step in the right direction as our community battles and struggles with this crisis, but more needs to be done.

READ THE STORY:Mental health relief

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.