Serious funding shortfall in acute mental health services putting kids at risk

Thursday 16 Jun 2016

The Health Services Union (HSUWA) says transition of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as a result of the new Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH), is shaping up as a disaster because of a serious shortfall in funding for a range of acute and specialised mental health services for children.

Three specialised services, Paediatric Clinical Psychology Liaison Service (PCPL), Acute Response Team (ART), and the Acute Community Intervention Team (ACIT), will all be impacted by the funding cut.

Critical services will be cut, staff numbers significantly reduced and kids placed at risk.

HSUWA Secretary, Dan Hill has slammed the funding debacle, and the lack of proper planning for the transition of young people’s mental health services to the new children’s hospital, and expressed concern at the increased risk to the young patients accessing these services.

“These are critical services that are being delivered to hundreds of children and adolescents that are already at a very high risk of suicide, and staff are very concerned about the possible consequences should the level of service be cut.” he said.

“It seems that they have spent all the money on a shiny new building and don’t have enough left to pay for all of the health professionals who help more than a 1000 kids each year deal with acute mental health problems. It’s a disgrace.”

Mr Hill also called on the Ministers’ for Health, and Mental Health to intervene, and to ensure that adequate funding was made available for the provision of these services.

“These important mental health services are all acute and specialised, with no alternative services available elsewhere.

“The Ministers’ for Health and Mental Health need to step in and commit to making up the funding shortfall, and ensure that our children won’t be put at risk.”


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