Stop rationing mental health services in aged care

Mental Health Victoria urges the Royal Commission into Aged Care to pay special attention to the mental health of RACF residents at the December 2019 hearings which will examine the interfaces between the aged care and health systems.

All Australians should be appalled by the damning findings in the Aged Care Royal Commission’s initial report, which outline a shocking tale of neglect. Far reaching, systematic and urgent reform is needed to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community – the residents of residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

 As outlined in our submission to the Royal Commission, the facts are alarming:

  • Men aged 85 and over have the highest suicide death rate in Australia.
  • Around 15% of older Australians have symptoms of depression. This rate increases to 50% for people living in RACFs.
  • Access to mental healthcare is severely rationed for RACF residents relative to the general population. Consequently, use of mental health-related medications skyrocket.
  • Aged care staff lack even the most basic mental health awareness training in their qualifications.

Read the media statement here. 

Read the full submission here.