Protest condemns mental health cuts


BRISBANE — The Queensland Association for Mental Health held a protest on June 24 against proposed funding cuts to the mental health reform initiative Project 300.

The joint initiative of the departments of health, housing and family services is aimed at providing support services to 300 people in mental health institutional care so that they can live in the community.

Family services minister Kev Lingard has prepared a state cabinet submission proposing that his department cut its project funding by $6-$8 million. Cuts of this magnitude will be a devastating blow to individuals who have already been identified for inclusion in the project and advised that they will be able to leave their institution soon.

The proposed cuts contravene promises made by the Coalition at the last state election that it would continue to support and implement the National Mental Health Strategy, agreed to by all Commonwealth and state ministers for health.

Queensland already has the lowest per capita level of mental health funding in the country.