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Mental health needs are rising amid a long waiting list for expert help and a surge in emergency presentations.

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Psychiatrists are in a mental health position with the Queensland Government as they work on having only two-thirds of the staff needed in the “mental health crisis,” where emergency department presentations increased by 90%. We are asking you to provide funding.

It happens when children and adolescents are faced with a 6-9 month waiting list to meet a psychologist or psychiatrist.

According to AMA Queensland professor Chris Perry, Queensland doctors reported a surge of up to 30% in the number of people who saw the GP due to mental health problems during last year’s pandemic.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, Beyond Blue calls increased by 42% nationwide, and Queensland increased by 8% in 2020 compared to 2019.

“Community with mental health crisis”

Professor Brett Emerson, director of the Queensland branch of the Royal Australian Psychiatrist University, said he would work 5% annually over the next five years to help state governments mitigate the “mental health crisis that hits the community.” I asked for a promise of increased power.

He said that Queensland’s mental health services require only two-thirds of the staff before a pandemic under the framework of a national mental health program.

Professor Emerson told ABC Radio Brisbane that the current $ 46 million Queensland Government funding for additional staffing over the next 18 months was welcomed, but what was needed fell into the ocean. It was.

“If we go from 65 percent [of recommended staff levels] Up to 90% will have a very long way to go to meet some of their pre-COVID needs. “

Rapid increase in youth eating disorders

Professor Emerson, who is also the Secretary-General of Metro-North Hospital Services, said the mental health crisis in COVID-19 increased emergency department presentations by 90% at four Metro-North hospitals.

“Affected groups are eating disorders, adolescents [aged 10–25], Elderly people, and the entire group affected by COVID. “

Professor Emerson also demanded hundreds of additional beds across the state for inpatients with mental health and alternatives such as step-up and step-down services.

Professor Chris Perry, President of AMA Queensland, said many people were suffering from changes and uncertainties in their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ivan Frkovic, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner, has agreed that more investment is needed in addition to increasing training locations for mental health professionals and current staff levels.

He lacked service to children up to the age of 12, and despite the period of “you can make the most impact”, there was no “big investment” in that age group. I said that.

“Rather than waiting until puberty to see if we can intervene at that point, we need to see how to invest some money upstream so that we can meet our families and children early on. There is, “he said.

GP’Very, very worried about the patient’

Maria Boulton, director of GP and Family Doctors Plus, said her practice increased the number of patients with mental health concerns by about 50%.

“Eating disorders are also on the rise, with young people having more anxiety and adults having more anxiety and depression,” said Dr. Boulton.

Portrait of Dr. Maria Boulton.
Dr. Maria Boulton, GP and director of Family Doctors Plus and chair of the AMA Queensland General Practice Council, said doctors are very worried about their patients.(((

Supply: Dr. Maria Boulton

).

Dr. Boulton said doctors take care of patients as much as possible and spend hours over the phone contacting experts to determine a cross-location waiting list. Most of them were “6-9 months”.

“This is really, really long, especially if there are people in distress who may have been unemployed because of COVID and they need additional help,” she said.

“We help people. We always want to help. Of course, if anyone has any problems, I recommend seeing your family doctor.”

Dr. Boulton said the GP was “very very worried about the patient” because of the waiting list.

“For example, some patients may not be able to enter the room until August, but every week, they will be seen until they are seen.”

As part of the Queensland Government’s $ 46.5 million Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Package, Queensland Health spokespersons are providing immediate mental health, alcohol and other medication services in demand for COVID-19. He said 10 priority hospitals and health services were identified as additional funding to support.

“This package contains six targeted, evidence-based initiatives designed to mitigate the immediate and long-term mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional community mental health, drug and alcohol treatment and support, quarantine, additional capabilities within existing AOD home rehabilitation services, local mental health initiatives, and youth mental health. ”

“Various initiatives will create a community full-time equivalent (FTE) forefront position for approximately 100 people in the healthcare sector.”

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