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Psychiatric nursing and mental health funding : the double dilemma
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by K Gough, Brenda Happell
The impact of mental illness on disease and disability burden is receiving more recognition than has previously been the case. It is now commonly understood that approximately 20% of the Australian population will experience a mental illness at some stage during their lives. Unfortunately this recognition is not reflected in the funding of mental health services, or in strategies to identify and rectify shortfalls in the nursing workforce. This paper provides an exploration of two areas. Firstly an overview of the current funding devoted to mental health and secondly an examination of workforce data with a view to recognising likely future trends for psychiatric nursing. The data demonstrates the existence of a double dilemma, firstly that the need for psychiatric nurses is likely to increase, and secondly that the looming workforce crisis may be more severe than has been anticipated.