ACT Minister for Health Katy Gallaher MLA said today a new report showed the ACT topped Australia in access to community mental health care.
The latest data Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in the Mental Health Services - In Brief 2011 report provides a comprehensive picture of the national response to the mental health care needs of Australians for the years between 2008 and 2010.
It shows the ACT had the highest number of community service contacts, which includes telephone and face-to-face assistance, per 1,000 people (632.5) in 2008-09.
"The report shows that the ACT has the highest number of community service contacts per capita, well above other jurisdictions. This demonstrates the strength of the community mental health system in the ACT and reflects the ACT government's 200 percent increase in funding for mental health," the Chief Minister said.
"The report also indicates we are making less use of drugs to treat mental health issues than other jurisdictions."
The report found the ACT had the lowest number of people who received medications on mental health-related subsidised prescriptions (2009-10).
ACT workforce figures for 2008 were in line with Australian data for 2004 - 2008, which shows an average annual increase of 2 percent in the number of full time equivalent (FTE) psychiatrists employed and an average annual increase of 2.5 percent in the number of FTE nurses.
The number of staff employed in specialist mental health service units for 2008-09 was above average in both community mental health care services and residential mental health services.
The report also showed that the ACT's rates of 'public acute hospital separations' and residential mental health care 'episodes and residencies' were consistent with other Australian jurisdictions for 2008-09.
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Section: Katy Gallagher, MLA | Media Releases