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Katy’s Mental Health

By Nemo 19 February 2008 10

ABC news reports that the ACT Govt is to spend $775 000 per year on a new youth mental health program for people aged between 14 and 18.

The 3 month program will be available for only 5 people at a time and will be run out of a unused Hostel in Watson.

In terms of the recent reports on the woeful inadequacy of ACT health infrastructure, are we getting value for money?

As this program will potentially only benefit 20 people annually, would we be better served by this money being placed into the wider ACT health budget or existing mental health services?

What’s Your opinion?

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Katy’s Mental Health
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minime2 12:10 am 20 Feb 08

Actually, it IS a good deal. The Hostel in Watson is (only) half used alredy by Ted Knoff Foundation out of Sydney for the same thing – youth M.H. Those T.K. kids are out of Sydney. This will be our ACT darlings and therefore a good use of facilities/staff/resources just sitting there. Its 24/7 so wages are the biggest biscuit.

sepi 6:54 pm 19 Feb 08

It is good that they are trying to do something for mental health. If it really helps some of the attendees, then it will be saving on costs later on when they may have run right off the rails.

swamiOFswank 6:10 pm 19 Feb 08

Considering its residential mental health care, it actually seems pretty cheap – wages and facilities included. The reason it only caters for five at a time would be because six and over = institution (and we couldn’t admit that there’s a need for some people to be institutionalised again, could we)

areaman 3:02 pm 19 Feb 08

Mælinar, I’m pretty sure none of the 200 student (or probably even the 50 student) schools closed only cost $775 000 a year.

I’d think if the program was successful they’d enlarge it, but this is at least a start.

Mælinar 10:32 am 19 Feb 08

Nemo – you should submit more stories. I find your method of writing headlines cunning and witty.

As far as the expense goes – I think these kind of figures were being trolled around at the time of the schools closures – I’d like to see a comparison.

Seems a bit mental that the ACT Govt is willing to put up 20 of Katy’s backpacker mates in Watson, but isn’t willing to maintain a school that caters for 50-100-200-500 children for the same cost.

Perhaps, in a step of curious irony, one of those mothballed schools could instead be converted to a mental health facility – already powered and watered, besa brick walls, and fits a lot more than 5 people at a time.

They even have enough room for several fences, patrol dogs and whatever else they need to keep mentals from the community at large. By nature of 1/2 decent planners somewhere in Canberra’s short but tragic history, they are also strategically not close to pubs and other bad stuff.

That’ll do with the hypotheticals… I could go on.

I consider this a bit woeful an investment – how much would it cost to augment this to a bigger number of people, aka once you have spent $800k on this, how much extra will it cost to bump the amount of people up to 40 a year (for example)…

wishuwell 10:31 am 19 Feb 08

The Stanhope comment reminded me of a similar press release from Peter Beattie crowing about Qld having the shortest list for elective surgery in Australia. Peter did have Dr Jayant Patel working for him at the time though.

Skidbladnir 10:31 am 19 Feb 08

$16,000 per week just seems very high to me.

damnintellectuals 10:11 am 19 Feb 08

Sounds reasonable, especially when considering staff wages, day-to-day running expenses etc.

Skidbladnir 10:09 am 19 Feb 08

In terms of woeful heath services, Stanhope was quite happy the other day to point out that we come fifth in terms of health services when compared to other states (fourth runner up is still third last, Jon), but we’re apparently the first state or territory to roll out this untested program…

But this seems like an exceptional amount of money on a result for 20 citizens (0.006% of population) annually.
$730k from ACT Govt, plus $100k from Mental Health ACT.

Media release here:

neanderthalsis 9:34 am 19 Feb 08

mmmmmm, $775 000 for 20 people is $38 750 each. Maybe we could just employ them as junior public servants, with mental health issues they would fit right in.

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