The Victorian State Government’s $705 million investment into the state’s mental health and addiction services is a welcome signal of a new commitment to the sector, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has said.
The RANZCP Victorian Branch Chair, Associate Professor Richard Newton said, ‘over the past 10 years in Victoria there has been a significant underfunding of mental health and addiction services, and the RANZCP welcomes this budget as a step in the right direction.'
In particular, the RANZCP welcomes the:
- $232 million to support 89 new acute inpatient beds
- $101 million to establish 6 new emergency department crisis hubs
- $32.5 million to strengthen the mental health workforce to reduce the risk of occupational violence
- $40.6 million for 3 new regional residential drug rehabilitation treatment facilities, in the Barwon, Gippsland, and Hume regions.
Up until now in Victoria, only 1.1% of the population has received public mental health treatment when 3% has a severe mental illness.
'It is the RANZCP’s hope that this increase in funding will help more Victorians receive treatment and support on their mental health journeys.
'The RANZCP Victorian Branch will continue to call upon both sides of government in the lead-up to the state election to provide long-term successive commitments to repair our in-demand mental health system.
'We look forward to closely considering the detail of these allocations and monitoring them in the coming years to ensure that people who need treatment will receive it,’ Associate Professor Newton said.
The budget also includes:
- $154 million to provide intensive service packages to current high-need community mental health clients
- $58.9 million to increase the number of high-care packages for complex clients
- $28.6 million to provide more treatment options and improve clinical care in 6 Prevention and Recovery Care units
- $18.7 million to expand the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement initiative to a further 6 hospitals
- $11.9 million to develop a new 20-bed Prevention and Recovery Care facility for young people
- $10 million for infrastructure and capital works in selected state-owned mental health and alcohol and other drugs facilities
- $6.7 million for the new residential rehabilitation facility in the Grampians
- $4 million for Aboriginal mental health and wellbeing initiatives
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.