Mental Health Patients Will Have Greater Say

Mental Health Patients Will Have Greater Say

People living with mental illness in NSW will be provided with a greater say in determining the care provided to them, Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said today.

Mrs Williams’ comments follow the introduction of a suite of legislative changes introduced into the Parliament last night by the Minister for Mental Health, Jai Rowell.

The Mental Health Act Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014 would strengthen the rights of people undergoing treatment for mental illness, by ensuring the wishes of the individual were at the core of any treatment decisions made by clinicians.

Speaking on the legislation, Mrs Williams said, “It is vital that this legislation gives individuals control and decision making power over their treatment wherever possible.

“The Act as it currently stands needs to be modernised to reflect a recovery centred approach and to include self-determination, empowerment and inclusion to which all people with a mental health issue are entitled,” Mrs Williams said.

“Like many in this House, I hear of the challenges faced by members of my local community who are living with a mental illness and often it is their family and carers who seek our assistance in times of crisis.

“I reassure the community that mental health and the need for increased services and support in the Port Macquarie electorate is at the top of my mind, and I make no apology for continuing to be relentless in my advocacy for improved support and services,” Mrs Williams said.

“That is why I am pleased that the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Jai Rowell, will be accompanying me next Tuesday on a visit to Ellimatta Lodge to discuss opportunities for the expansion of appropriate mental health services in this space.

“I have also asked the Minister to join me to meet with committee members on-site at Endeavour Clubhouse with whom I have continued to work closely over recent months to investigate funding options.

“I have spoken at length with Minister Rowell on this issue. Like me, he understands the frustrations of the Endeavour Clubhouse committee, which is keen to offer mental health services at the facility. A range of measures could be implemented to fund the service, including developing partnerships and working with non-government service providers to operate from the building,” Mrs Williams said.

Changes brought in under the Mental Health Act Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014 were made after extensive state wide consultation with people living with mental illness, their carers, family members and mental health care professionals. It is anticipated they will come into effect in July 2015.

For a full copy of the speech on Hansard, go http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20141022055?open&refNavID=HA8_1

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