Human rights commissioner Dr Sev Ozdowski has called for greater services for Australians suffering from mental illness.
He has told the National Press Club one in five Australians will suffer from some form of mental illness, but only 7 per cent of Australia’s entire health budget is spent on addressing the problem. Dr Ozdowski says drug addiction and mental illness are often associated but there are almost no services available so both problems can be treated in conjunction.He says it is an approach contributing to historically high suicide rates among young Australians. “People cannot be admitted to mental health clinics if they do have a drug problem and also the detox clinics will not take them if they have mental problems so basically they are falling between the cracks and we need to have a holistic approach,” he said.(Source: ABC News: August 2004.)