Media Release – Kevin Rudd Suffers Memory Loss – Forgets People With A Mental Illness Vote Too

Media Release – Kevin Rudd Suffers Memory Loss – Forgets People With A Mental Illness Vote Too

The resignation of Prof. John Mendoza, the Rudd Government’s chief advisor on Mental Health, is a slap in the face to the one in four Australian voters whose lives are affected by mental illness, say the Australian Democrats.

“Prime Minister Rudd and health minister Roxon have shown contempt for mental health professionals and a total lack of interest in those with mental health problems.” Australian Democrats Victorian spokesperson for Mental Health David Scott Kane said today.

“Prof Mendoza – their appointment – and over 60 mental health organisations have tried to present a letter to Kevin Rudd with a suggested plan of action for mental health. The Prime Minister and his health minister have declined to receive it, a clear message the federal government isn’t listening on mental health.

“Psychiatrists have advised for decades that a key element in treating mental illness is acknowledging there is a problem.

“The Rudd government isn’t even prepared to take this basic step. They are in complete denial and have tried to play hide and seek with the advisor they appointed.”

Successive governments – federal and state – have failed the mentally ill, their families, their carers and the medical practitioners that support them. They’ve failed in funding, in infrastructure and failed again by refusing to look at industry-suggested solutions to the daily problems the mentally ill face.

“The system is pale, sick, lost and in dire need of urgent assistance. The cure is for this government to face the crises.

Mental health is now the leading disability in Australia. It is the foremost killer of those under 44. Yet the Rudd Government ignores it, and now chooses to ignore the man they appointed to deliver the message to them.

“Kevin Rudd seems to think if he states something it will magically resolve itself. Restating his commitment ‘to do more on mental health’ and that it’s ‘next cab off the rank’ seems to be about as committed as he was on supermarket pricing and climate change. We should be grateful he didn’t use it as an opportunity to demonstrate his powerful command of expletives.

Professor Mendoza and the mental health organizations are offering possible solutions to the problems faced by the mentally ill. Solutions to save lives. Solutions to save families pain and reduce the soul-destroying frustrations of thousands of people treating and caring for the mentally ill.

“The mentally ill, their families and the mental health field are justifiably angry at the Rudd Government for continuing the cycle of systemic failure imposed on them by the current mental health policy – or lack thereof. They should vote accordingly.

“Rather than save lives and advance this neglected field, the Rudd Government concerns itself with internal leadership navel gazing and bickering. They have forgotten the reasons they were elected,” Mr. Kane concluded.

Media contact – David Scott Kane 040 434 1025

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