MENTAL health services for clients at Bankstown Court House, have been slashed, prompting concern from awareness groups and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Tania Mihailuk. In the midst of Mental Health Week, the nurse consultant, who assesses, refers and recommends treatment for clients facing magistrates, will now work just one day, instead of five days a week. Susan Curd from Beautiful Minds Bankstown, which lobbies to improve mental health facilities and raise awareness of the illness, has slammed the decision. “People with mental illness need somebody to provide them with support and assistance before and after enduring Court proceedings, to ensure that their rights and welfare are looked after,” she said. State MP for Bankstown, Ms Mihailuk, has called on the NSW Government to immediately restore the service. By reducing the service, Ms Mihailuk said the nurse was only able to provide assistance to three patients a week at Bankstown. “It is absolutely vital that the NSW Government provides individuals in the Bankstown area, who may be experiencing mental illness, with adequate access to a clinical nurse who has the capacity to refer them to appropriate treatment services in the community,” she said. The clinical nurse position was funded full-time through the Statewide Community and Court Liaison Service. This funding is provided by NSW Health through the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network. A spokesperson for the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, said in a statement to the Torch that the decision was based on changes to the judicial system, which had increased audio-visual link court appearances. “The position remains full time, however provides one day at Bankstown Local Court, which is their busiest day, and the other four days supporting audio-visual link appearances at Silverwater Correctional Complex,” the spokesperson said.