Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson has called on the State Government to “bite the bullet” over mental health services on the Sunshine Coast and fill a gaping hole in services.
Ms Simpson said the State Government needed to fast-track planning for a step-down/step-up facility on the Coast to better manage patients and take pressure off acute care in hospitals.
She questioned the Health Minister in Parliament about the plans for such a service on the Coast and received an answer that “initial planning” was underway but no detail about when this would be released. She has called for greater transparency and clarity about when those plans will be released so establishing appropriate facilities can be progressed as soon as possible.
“This week is Mental Health Week and I’m asking the Minister for more information about when more mental health facilities will be provided on the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Simpson said.
“By the time people are admitted to hospital, they’re pretty unwell. Best practice care is to have facilities for mental health patients that can provide better early intervention and care for people living in the community to hopefully stop their symptoms escalating and needing hospitalisation. This is also about better step-down for those who are discharged back home when they still need a level of care prior to that.”
Ms Simpson said that she talked with many families who had had the heartbreak of supporting loved ones facing mental health issues and they often talked about the need for services that bridged the gap between home-based care and hospital to stop the cycle in and out of acute care.