Speak up for Mental Health Services for young South Australians

09 March 2017

The Public Service Association (PSA) has been invited, along with staff, families/carers, stakeholders and the general public, to provide feedback on a wide range of proposals regarding and structure and services that will affect all statewide services provided by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Members have a wide range of serious concerns relating to this proposal, including but not limited to:

- Proposed removal of all speech pathologists from CAMHS.

There are no other child and adolescent mental health skilled speech pathologists in SA, yet WCHN propose that this highly skilled work be undertaken instead by DECD, non-government organisations and private practice.

- Closure of the Enfield CAMHS campus. Enfield Campus currently provides intensive support and group programs in a safe environment for children and young people who are disengaging in various areas of their life such as school, due to their mental health or behavioural issues. WCHN have proposed an alternative service delivery for this service including a higher reliance on educational services. Members believe this has many “gaps” that raises serious concerns regarding the ability for children and young people to receive this critical support.

- Amalgamation of sites such as Paradise and Port Adelaide to one central location.

Members are extremely concerned at the distances families/carers will have to travel to attend the site with their child/young person – especially to be able to attend after school – to a central location from areas such as Gumeracha.

- Country team staffing Members are concerned at the apparent “one size fits all” approach to FTE. There is no evidence that the large travel distances; lack of assistance from other proposed CAMHS “statewide” services such as the metropolitan based Mobile Assertive Service; increased need for hospital in-reach due to no hospital based CAMHS liaison in regional areas; and lack of other health infrastructure in many smaller country areas have all been taken into account.

The above concerns, and many others, indicate a further “outsourcing” of public health services. There is a lack of evidence and detail provided by WCHN to reassure members, children/young people, and their families and carers, that some of our most vulnerable young South Australians will still be able to access the services currently provided by these highly skilled clinicians.

As a result, the PSA is undertaking a range of activities to support our members and the public with these concerns. This includes a range of flyers to raise awareness of these issues for members, families and friends, and the general public. These can be viewed and printed (LINK).

The PSA encourages members, family, friends and the general public to provide feedback to WCHN regarding the proposed Restructure (which can be anonymous) by 14 March 2017 at:

http://www.wch.sa.gov.au/services/az/divisions/mentalhealth/camhs_structure_clients_carers_stakeholders.html

Finally, the PSA invites all members, family, friends and the general public like the Public Service Association of SA Inc Facebook page to keep up-to-date with this campaign. See our post regarding the CAMHS Restructure and like it and share it.