The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) joins the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) in condemning the recent announcement by Queensland Health to introduce ‘lock-up’ security measures to all adult mental health hospital inpatient facilities in Queensland, and the expansion of the use of ankle bracelets.
The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) funds mental health nurses to work collaboratively with GPs and psychiatrists to support people with severe and persistent mental illness. This is a very economical and efficient collaboration, funded by Medicare and bulk-billable. It usually costs patients nothing, in contrast to the unaffordability of consultations with psychiatrists and the limited availablility of funding for psychologists. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) welcomes the release of Government and Coalition election policies on mental health, but College President Prof Wendy Cross has expressed concern that the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) was not mentioned by either party. The ACMHN calls on whoever forms the next Australian Government to match the funding committment of the Greens, who put the figure of $210 million over three years.