This issue of our newsletter highlights mental health/suicide programs initiated by federal and state governments.

As well intended as they are, the programs have a one thing in common. They are all disjointed and uncoordinated.

No effort has been made to ascertain if similar programs have been attempted in other states and if the programs have been successful.

Federal oversight is sadly lacking.

Millions of dollars are handed out every year on these ill-conceived programs.

Yet suicide and self-harm rates are increasing.

In his maiden speech, Federal Parliamentarian, Julian Lesser, made an impassioned plea on the failure of the policy of continually throwing money at the mental health crisis.

White Wreath has continually urges federal and state governments to establish a body with the power to oversee an evidenced-based coordination of mental health measures on a state-federal basis.

The National Mental Health Commission held an extensive review of mental health programmes and services, handing down its findings last year to the Federal Government.

One of the Commission’s findings was: “Despite almost $10 billion in Commonwealth spending on mental health every year, there are no agreed or consistent national measures of whether this is leading to effective outcomes or whether peoples lives are being improved as a result.”

At the time of writing, the Federal Government has not introduced any meaningful mental health legislation since it was re-elected.

This is an appalling indictment of our Federal representatives. It is time for the Federal Government to wake up and stop pouring millions of taxpayer funds into totally useless programmes.

Last but not least White Wreath wishes all our dedicated Members and readers a very Merry Xmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.


Fanita Clark