Mental health need increases amid long waitlists for professional help, sharp rise in emergency presentations

Psychiatrists are prompting the Queensland federal government to money more mental health positions as they face having simply two-thirds of needed personnel amid a “mental health crisis” that has actually seen a 90 percent boost in emergency department presentations.

It comes as kids and youths are confronted with 6 to nine-month waitlists to see psychologists and psychiatrists.

Queensland physicians likewise reported as much as a 30 percent spike in individuals seeing their GPs for mental health issues in 2015 throughout the pandemic, according to AMA Queensland president Professor Chris Perry.

The mental health effect of the COVID-19 pandemic saw contacts us to Beyond Blue boost by 42 percent nationally, and 8 percent in Queensland throughout 2020 compared to 2019.

‘Mental health crisis grasping neighborhood’

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Queensland branch chair Professor Brett Emmerson has actually called for the state federal government to devote to growing the labor force by 5 percent each year over the next 5 years to help relieve the “mental health crisis gripping the community”.

He stated Queensland’s mental health services had simply two-thirds of the personnel needed pre-pandemic under the nationwide mental health preparation structure.

Professor Emmerson informed ABC Radio Brisbane the present $46 million Queensland federal government financing for extra staffing over the next 18 months was welcome — however was a drop in the ocean of what was required.

“If we went from 65 per cent [of recommended staff levels] up to 90 per cent that would go a very long way to meeting some of the pre-COVID needs,” he stated.

Surge in eating conditions

Professor Emmerson is likewise the executive director of Metro North Hospital Service and stated the mental health crisis amid COVID-19 had actually seen a 90 percent boost in emergency department presentations throughout 4 medical facilities in Metro North.

“The groups affected are eating disorders, young people [aged 10–25], the elderly, and there’s a whole group affected by COVID,” he stated.

Professor Emmerson likewise called for numerous hundred extra beds throughout the state for mental health in-clients and options such as step-up and step-down services.

AMA Queensland president teacher Chris Perry stated lots of people had actually dealt with the modifications to their lives and unpredictability throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic concurred that higher financial investment was required in addition to more training locations for mental health specialists and present personnel levels.

He stated services were doing not have for kids as much as 12 years of age, and there was not “great investment” in that age in spite of being the duration “where you can make the greatest impact”.

“We’ve got to try to see how we invest some money upstream to be able to meet with families and children at that earlier stage rather than waiting until adolescence and then trying to see if we can intervene at that point,” he stated.

GPs ‘really, really concerned for clients’

GP and director of Family Doctors Plus Maria Boulton stated her practice had actually tape-recorded a boost of clients providing with mental health issues by about 50 percent.

“We’re also seeing increased eating disorders, we’re seeing a lot of anxiety in younger people, we’re seeing a lot of anxiety and depression in adults,” Dr Boulton stated.

A portrait image of Dr Maria Boulton.
Dr Maria Boulton, GP and director of Family Doctors Plus and AMA Queensland Council of General Practice chair states physicians are really, really concerned about their clients.(

Supplied: Dr Maria Boulton


Dr Boulton stated physicians were taking care of clients as finest they could, investing hours on the phone calling professionals to identify waitlists throughout places — the majority of which were “six to nine months”.

“Which is really, really long especially when you’ve got someone in distress who has perhaps lost a job because of COVID and they need extra support,” she stated.

“We will help people, we’re always keen to help. Of course, if anyone has any trouble we do suggest you see your GP.”

Dr Boulton stated GPs were “very, very worried for patients” due to waitlists.

“For example, I’ve got a patient who can’t get in until August, and I will be seeing that patient, at the moment it’s weekly, until they can get seen.”

A Queensland Health representative stated as part of the Queensland federal government’s $46.5 million Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Package, 10 top priority medical facility and health services were determined for extra financing to support instant mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment services amid COVID-19 need.

“The package comprises six targeted evidence-based initiatives designed to mitigate the immediate and longer-term mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including additional community mental health and drug and alcohol treatment and support responses, specialist mental health services for people in quarantine, additional capacity within existing AOD residential rehabilitation services, localised mental health initiatives, and youth mental health,” the representative stated.

“The range of initiatives will create approximately 100 community full-time equivalent (FTE) frontline positions within the health sector.”

Recommended For You

About the Author: Dr. James Goodall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *