Call for mental health reform after Bondi stabbing

Most important points
  • Today in Canberra, a roundtable of experts is meeting to discuss mental health reform.
  • Elizabeth Young spoke about her family’s struggle to access mental health services following the death of her daughter in the Bondi Junction attack.
  • Mental health organizations have approved a series of requests ahead of the roundtable.
Mental health experts are gathering in Canberra to discuss gaps in care for people with complex mental health issues. circumstances following the Bondi Junction attack.
The roundtable, hosted by Wentworth MP Allegra Spender and the Black Dog Institute, will discuss key issues in mental health with advocates from mental health organisations.
Elizabeth Young, the mother of Jade Young, who recently died in the Bondi Junction stabbing attack, is also attending the events in Canberra today and spoke at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
To highlight the inconsistencies in care, she spoke about the difficulties her family had finding mental health care after her daughter’s death.

She said her family members in NSW received immediate and ongoing psychological support from specialist mental health providers, but her son in Tasmania “received no such treatment”.

Young called for a coordinated national approach to mental health reform, stressing that despite numerous studies, reports and strategies, “Australia is still reeling”.
“Please, in the long shadow of the horror of Jade’s death, I beg you, as the voice of three devastated households, to actually do something about the discrepancies, the inequities, the inconsistencies in current mental health funding.”
Kerry Hawkins, president of the Western Australian Association for Mental Health, also highlighted the stigma faced by people with complex mental illnesses, and the challenges faced by families and carers.

Hawkins said she has experience with mental health issues in her family and stressed the need to “address the discrimination that exists against people living with serious issues.”

“I want to reiterate that family members who walk alongside people with these kinds of problems also receive absolutely no support. Hundreds of thousands of Australians are living in quiet desperation with emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion and financial exhaustion.”
Mental health organizations have also supported a series of requests ahead of the roundtable, including calls for long-term funding and reform, a full-day meeting of mental health ministers, and the inclusion of mental health reform in the upcoming national health reform deal.
On April 13, a 40-year-old man, Joel Cauchi, stabbed and killed six people and injured 12 others at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre.
Readers seeking support regarding their mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. Further information is available at .
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