Mental health services staff cut in central Queensland

SHOCK waves are running through central Queensland's health sector as the impact of staff cuts to mental health and drug and alcohol services take effect.

Queensland Nurses Union spokesman Dave Abraham said 26 positions would be cut across the region including five mental health community support workers in Rockhampton, and Gladstone's alcohol, tobacco and other drugs nurse unit manager.

"Mental health is crying out for more services, not less," Mr Abraham said.

"Mental health is grossly underfunded, especially in young people where early diagnosis is a major area of concern…we need to put more in, not take it out."

Mr Abraham said the union held grave concerns as responsibility for primary care was being put back on GPs and the non-government sector.

But he said the government was also taking away support for the GPs and the non-government organisations.

"It doesn't make sense…and we're not sure this is the last of the cuts," he said.

The cuts are the result of the integration of mental health and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs services.

Mr Abraham said Gladstone had a lot of alcohol-related issues with cashed-up workers.

"Having people in place to deal with these sorts of issues is important," he said.

A spokesman for Minister Lawrence Springborg on Tuesday said the CQ health board had canvassed voluntary redundancies and was re-structuring mental health and drug and alcohol support services.