Australia- Nine people stabbed including 9 month baby @ the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, suspect fatally shot, Sydney, 13 April 2024

I would have to agree with the above - the area of mental health is woefully neglected in Australia. I am in a major regional city and the waitlist for a psychiatrist is well over 12 months. Then when you get an appt the cost is prohibitive to the point that a lot cannot afford it. There is no public mental health services - not because they don’t exist but because they are underfunded and overburdened.

In this case I put the blame on the government for the lack of mental health services. Yes JG did the wrong thing but just maybe the situation would have been different if he were able to access the help that he needed.
The initial mental health assessment is conducted by a GP, and in the case of depression, the GP can actually prescribe antidepressants that are covered by the PBS. However, accessing psychiatric care for other conditions can be more challenging for those living in rural areas and facing financial constraints. This is something that people, as voters, must request from their local authorities.

If you feel cornered by life and need immediate support, one option is to go to the ED of a hospital. They are equipped to provide assistance and can offer referrals to appropriate services. Additionally, if necessary, they may provide medications that are covered by Medicare. It's important to remember that seeking help is a brave step, and there are resources available to support you.
 
The initial mental health assessment is conducted by a GP, and in the case of depression, the GP can actually prescribe antidepressants that are covered by the PBS. However, accessing psychiatric care for other conditions can be more challenging for those living in rural areas and facing financial constraints. This is something that people, as voters, must request from their local authorities.

If you feel cornered by life and need immediate support, one option is to go to the ED of a hospital. They are equipped to provide assistance and can offer referrals to appropriate services. Additionally, if necessary, they may provide medications that are covered by Medicare. It's important to remember that seeking help is a brave step, and there are resources available to support you.
I ‘m in Australia and believe the system is failing many. There is a so called “mental Health plan” that is prescribed by the GP and covers 6 initial sessions with a psychologist. This plan only covers about $120 per session whereas most psychologists charge $200+ per session, many people cannot afford this out of pocket amount of at least $80 and don’t seek out initial services because of it.
 
I ‘m in Australia and believe the system is failing many. There is a so called “mental Health plan” that is prescribed by the GP and covers 6 initial sessions with a psychologist. This plan only covers about $120 per session whereas most psychologists charge $200+ per session, many people cannot afford this out of pocket amount of at least $80 and don’t seek out initial services because of it.
Even $120 for 6 sessions (totalling $720 annually) is quite generous, something many countries lack in their systems. The remaining $480, a gap payment, is much less than a fortnightly unemployment benefit. While it's undoubtedly challenging to afford on a tight budget, I believe it's not impossible, and one can manage it on a pay-as-you-go basis.
 
Good morning,
There are many, many posts about mental health, illicit drug use, and compliance.
I live and have lived with bipolar 2 since I turned 18. I was born in a Midwest state prior to emigrating to Australia in 1999.
My diagnosis came after post traumatic incidents which I won't go into detail. Let's just say that sometimes moving to the other side of the world, doesn't fix the trauma of heart and mind.
1) Mental health care here has its advantages and disadvantages. I live in a rural area, my GP is a 6 hour return trip. The nearest GP has a 4-8 year wait list. Problem is the GPs (general practitioner), will not move to rural towns. My town is utterly delightful. I blame RANZCOG for inefficiencies in medical practitioner standards and accessibility to housing in rural areas
Cost- $150 round trip.
2) the cost of care as ASTRONOMICAL if not on a disability pension. I do not have one. Luckily, GP is bulk billed. I cannot afford to see a psychiatrist regularly.
-seeing a new one in June, the appointment is $500.
-Medications are not subsidised and cost $100 per month.
-The most important part of my care is therapy- CBT sessions are $200 per visit. You can get a care plan here which covers 6 visits per year. But, some psychologists do not accept the referral and still charge the full amount.
3) housing, the $$$ for rent is too high for anyone, let alone the disadvantaged. So many people end up homeless
For some patients with a mental illness, they can get support if they have had a community treatment order or have been hospitalised at a reduced cost.
I have found that there have been generalisations in this thread about schizophrenia, treatment, mandatory treatment. I won't give an opinion about posts. It's a difficult mental illness to treat as is bipolar 1 and 2. Support is very difficult to access, my support group (thank God) is online and we have monthly catch ups via zoom.
Australia does have NDIS (funding), but it's also not easily accessed and funding is the proverbial circus.
We are let down by our systems here. I cannot stress enough how difficult the journey has been as someone with insight and compliance. Someone without it may turn to illicit drug use, which is more accessible than affordable, quality health care.
To be frank the coroner will focus on mental health care as a focal point in the coronial enquiry. This should have never happened. I surmise this may be a catalyst for a royal commission into mental health, also femicide (another epidemic here in Australia). The nexus of mental health and femicide must be addressed.
Coroner's Court NSW:
Coronial findings and recommendations
I read regularly the findings with my background study and profession. Many are DV cases, mental health incidents, etc.
Excellent post OptimusLime. An additional hurdle - once one turns to 65, they are no longer eligible for NDIS assistance, and whilst "on paper", there is still assistance, when push comes to shove, it's tokenism at best IMO.

IMO there is no doubt that assistance for those suffering from mental health conditions in rural/regional locations is grossly inadequate. Unfortunately there appears to be an alarming level of ignorance within some quarters of the health profession regarding mental health issues IMO.
 
Next Step

Next Step is a free, confidential and evidence-based psychological support service which aims to improve access to treatment for people experiencing anxiety and/or depression. The service helps you access the best type of mental health support to meet your individual needs. To meet varying needs, the service is offered across a continuum and delivered by a trained workforce.

Many people experience different types of anxiety and depression. These conditions can be influenced by many things including stress, change, uncertainty about situations or circumstances, or by a traumatic event. Next Step will help you identify your symptoms and work with you to better manage them using a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach. CBT can help you learn how to change unhelpful or unhealthy habits, feelings and behaviours. Some examples of what you can work on in the Next Step program:
  • Managing social situations or tasks that you find difficult
  • Improving your mood
  • Managing worrying thoughts and feelings
  • Helping you face things you avoid or procrastinate about
  • Helping you if you feel the need to check or do things repeatedly
  • Improving sleep
 
With funding from both the Federal and New South Wales Governments and a workforce of more than 700 people, we provide a range of services including:
Disability and NDIS supports
  • Foster care and residential care services supporting children and young people who are unable to live with their families
  • Services to support children to have the brightest futures possible including early learning and care centres, out of school hours care and vacation care services
For those facing a crisis or crossroad in life, our Family Centres offer counselling, domestic and family violence support, family dispute resolution and mediation, parenting education, emergency relief and housing and homelessness supports. We also provide hospital chaplaincy and pastoral care help, crisis support … and much more.
 
The question also is what about adults with a MH diagnosis who go off their medication. Cannot force an adult to take medication. That’s where an inclusive society and an immediate network of friends and family becomes critical. Society as a whole has become a lot more inclusive over the past couple of decades but still has a long way to go.

In the Eastern suburbs of Sydney where this attack occurred there are a lot of wealthy people who live in mansions and drive luxury cars. The shopping centre where this attack occurred is very up market and has stores like Chanel (not many Westfield shopping centres around Australia would have such luxury stores) so the difference between the many affluent people in this area and someone sleeping rough would have been very stark. Not saying this contributed to the attack, just something that came to my mind.
 
Even $120 for 6 sessions (totalling $720 annually) is quite generous, something many countries lack in their systems. The remaining $480, a gap payment, is much less than a fortnightly unemployment benefit. While it's undoubtedly challenging to afford on a tight budget, I believe it's not impossible, and one can manage it on a pay-as-you-go basis.
I respectfully challenge this notion that it is "not impossible." Many people with disabilities are on a disability or jobseeker pension, which is anywhere from starting at AU $700- to $1200 per fortnight. When you're paying $10 for a few tomatoes, and through the nose for fuel, rent, food,gas, electricity- that gap payment is unaffordable and untenable. It needs to be fully bulked billed for low income families, individuals, pensioners.
I live in one of the coldest climates of NSW, and families can't afford electricity for heat. Thankfully, there is some support from charitable organisations.
I also think medications should be subsidised. Better affordable access hopefully means better outcomes.
 

Lengthy interview with parents.

The Police Minister confirmed that Cauchi didn’t have any interactions with NSW mental health services, “so he was unknown to NSW from that perspective”.

Paywalled. I'm sure the DM will pick it up
 
It sounds as if the killer was flipping between sleeping in a car and staying at a backpackers hostel.

His dad said they expected him home (his parents house) this week.

I am guessing the killer was on a disability pension and was able to access his money via ATMs wherever he went. Probably kept his valuables in the locker, rather than leave all of his stuff in a car or a backpackers hostel.


Assistant Commissioner Lowe said police had learned from the family that Cauchi, who had schizophrenia, had been sleeping in a vehicle or at a backpacker hostel before the attack in Sydney ....
Earlier, the Daily Mail reported Cauchi’s family were expecting him to return home this week to help manage their pigeons.

Queenslanders reveal Bondi mass murderer Joel Cauchi’s troubled past
 
Even $120 for 6 sessions (totalling $720 annually) is quite generous, something many countries lack in their systems. The remaining $480, a gap payment, is much less than a fortnightly unemployment benefit. While it's undoubtedly challenging to afford on a tight budget, I believe it's not impossible, and one can manage it on a pay-as-you-go basis.
And what are people to do once they use up their 6 sessions?

Often it takes many many months to find the right medications alone.
 

Lengthy interview with parents.

The Police Minister confirmed that Cauchi didn’t have any interactions with NSW mental health services, “so he was unknown to NSW from that perspective”.

Paywalled. I'm sure the DM will pick it up

So sad for his parents. He came off his meds because he was doing so well.
They are heartbroken for all the pain and loss their son has caused.
He was raised with love and kindness. They love him.

He couldn't get a girlfriend, and was frustrated about that.

They are so sorry.

(paraphrased from the article)
 
The parents confirmed that he couldn’t get a girlfriend so likely frustrated and may have particularly targeted women as a result :(

Possibly with the move to Sydney he hoped to start fresh and set himself up with a new life. The area he moved to is very affluent yet he struggled to pay for surfing lessons Chilling moment man realises he spoke to Bondi killer before attack
struggled to pay for his meal on the day of the attack (as stated by the staff member at the food outlet he ate, he couldn’t pay at first but then came back with money later) and struggled to pay for permanent housing. He didn’t have employment from what we know (other than possibly casual escort services). All this might have triggered him to commit the attack near / outside Chanel at the Westfield (could just be a conincidence but possible he targeted women and wealth, both worlds that he likely felt so excluded from).
 
Couldn't get a girlfriend so decided to wipe out as many women out as he could. Thought so. I know he was mentally ill but this makes me so angry. All those innocent people's lives just gone like that.
I had wondered whether he was targeting women as he perceived them as an easier target/less likely to have a fight on his hands - particularly as stabbing is such a "close" crime.
(I am a female, and the thought of misogyny as a motive is also repugnant - as is any stabbing.) JMO
 

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