Thursday , January 27 2022
Home / Business / Mental health skills shortages emerging in NSW

Mental health skills shortages emerging in NSW

Community-based mental health services are reporting that they need more skilled staff to meet growing demand with estimates more than 150,000 people across Australia are missing out on crucial support, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC), the peak NSW group for non-government and community run organisations, commissioned a report which has identified the need for more skilled workers.

The council’s chief executive Carmel Tebbutt said the recent Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health has also identified the need to expand community treatment and support for people who did not require hospital care, but who needed more help than a GP could provide.

Mental Health Coordinating Council chief executive officer Carmel Tebbutt.

Mental Health Coordinating Council chief executive officer Carmel Tebbutt.Credit:Kate Geraghty

“Despite increased investment by both the NSW and Australian governments for additional mental health services during the pandemic, COVID-19 is having a profound impact on demand for services,” Ms Tebbutt said. “It’s paramount we have the services and workers in the community sector for Australians seeking mental health support, now and into the future.”

Ms Tebbutt said the Productivity Commission estimates 154,000 people are not receiving crucial psycho-social support services and it has identified that spending in these areas in the community by non-government organisations is still too low.

The 2021 Mental Health Workforce Profile has forecast growing demand for community services from GP networks and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“Organisations surveyed identify future demand coming from primary health networks commissioning mental health services, alongside ongoing demand from the NDIS,” the report said.

The MHCC is calling for extra funding for psycho-social services as part of the upcoming national agreement on mental health and suicide prevention, which is being negotiated between state and federal governments.

The report identifies the emergence of difficulties in recruiting workers with specific skills, beyond the normal disadvantage the community-managed organisations experience.

About admin

Check Also

Playing the long game with career goals after graduation

“However, generalist degrees (arts, science, etc) do catch up in the medium term as this …