Pat McGorry's Blog

 

On March 12, 2014 Croakey published a piece on the launch of the ReachOut.Com by Inspire Foundation/Ernst & Young report Crossroads: Rethinking the Australian mental health system. Professor Patrick McGorry has written the following response to this piece.

 

The media's coverage of former Attorney General and Health Minister Nicola Roxon's speech at the John Button Memorial Lecture on Wednesday night in Melbourne was largely confined to her reprise of the well known acrimony between Kevin Rudd and his colleagues, and her analysis of the character flaws of the former Prime Minister. While this may be endlessly fascinating to some, it is hardly news. Much more significant were her revelations regarding the inside story of the Rudd government's approach to health reform. 

Ireland has launched a new set of national mental health guidelines for schools. Commenting on the news, Patrick McGorry said, "Guidelines are most welcome and will expand the support and recognition capacity of the school communities.  But where to then? Where do young people turn to then?  There is urgent need for new style services to provide some expert help to the large number of young people who are locked out of care at present."

Patrick McGorry writes in today's Age about the need for an end to the culture of shame and secrecy surrounding suicide that prevents more young lives from being saved

Prof. Patrick McGorry has provided the Schizophrenia Research Forum (SRF) with some feedback and comments on the APA’s recent announcement regarding the placement of attenuated psychosis syndrome in the appendix rather than the main body of the DSM-5.

In response to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the week, Orygen Youth Health replied with the following:

Your story which suggests a large number of depressed young people are prescribed drugs before psychotherapy has a chance to work relies on a benchmarking study conducted in 2007 (''Drugs, not therapy, the first line of treatment for troubled adolescents'', July 9).

While everyone would agree with Martin Whitely that mental health needs a rethink, some aspects of his recent opinion piece in the West Australian require clarification.

Mental healthcare in Australia is not properly engineered in relation to the scale of the problem or the pattern of disease onset across the lifespan.


The number one roadblock to better care is the failure to integrate the community component of state-funded care with primary care structures, preferring to link it with inpatient and hospital-based services.


This is a legacy of the much-vaunted but ultimately disappointing mainstreaming reform of mental health services carried out in the 1990s.

While there is relief in some quarters that mental health has at first glance does not appear to have been cut in this budget, there are three areas of concern.