Record investment for mental health

Victorians with a mental illness will get the treatment they need, thanks to $705 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 for more mental health support, extra regional rehabilitation facilities and new emergency department crisis hubs to help Victorians struggling with mental illness.

To address the growing need, $232.4 million will support 89 new and existing acute inpatient beds and boost the number of treatment hours in community-based services, giving around 12,800 more Victorians the care they require.

The Andrews Labor Government will also invest a further $100.5 million in six emergency department crisis hubs across the state, to help people with urgent mental health, alcohol and drug issues.

These new hubs – located at Monash Medical Centre, St Vincent’s, the Royal Melbourne, Geelong, Sunshine and Frankston Hospitals – will take those who are dealing with serious mental health or addiction issues out of emergency department waiting rooms, and ensure they get specialist care from specialist health professionals.

In 2016, we lost 624 Victorians to suicide – that’s more than twice as many lives as our state’s road toll.

It’s why this year’s Budget includes $18.7 million to support the development of six new Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement sites.

These dedicated facilities will help an extra 3,000 Victorians every year, and ensure they and their families get the support they need.

An additional $58.9 million will also go toward expanding the Mental Health and Complex Needs Initiative to assist more people experiencing a mental health crisis. Funding will also establish a Compulsory Treatment Scheme for adults with complex needs who pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of others, and will include a new treatment facility.

We know that the scourge of addiction is hurting our regional communities, so an extra $40.6 million will fund the construction of three new 30-bed residential treatment facilities in Barwon, Gippsland and Hume.

This will make 90 extra public beds available in regional Victoria, on top of the 100 extra rehab beds already funded and opened as part of the Drug Rehabilitation Plan.

An extra $6.7 million will provide treatment for up to 80 people a year at the Grampians residential rehab facility.

This year’s Budget also includes $153.8 million to provide intensive community mental health services and support for current high-need mental health clients.

To prevent further relapses, Victorians in the early phases of recovery will have more treatment options and better clinical care with $28.6 million to boost support in existing Preventative and Residential Care units (PARCs).

Victoria’s mental health workforce will be expanded and new protections will be introduced to prevent occupational violence, with $32.5 million to keep our state’s dedicated mental health professionals safe at work.

A further $11.9 million will build a new 20-bed residential facility for young people with a mental illness, focussing on early intervention and tailored support.

New mums struggling with perinatal depression will also get the support they need, with an extra $6.4 million in perinatal funding.  Not only will this boost make sure these mums are getting the help they need, it will also mean a better start in life for their babies.

An additional $10 million will upgrade existing mental health, alcohol and drug services through the Facilities Renewal Grants program, while $4 million in funding will help promote mental health and wellbeing for Aboriginal Victorians.

The Labor Government inherited a system in crisis, and since coming to office has more than doubled the number of rehab beds, helping more Victorians facing mental illness and addiction get the treatment they need.

This year’s Budget builds on that foundation, with historic investments to help more Victorians get their lives back on track.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Right now, thousands of Victorians are suffering with mental illness and addiction, and their families are desperate for help.”

“With more funding than ever before, we’ll help make sure those Victorians get the support they need to get their lives back on track.”

“Make no mistake – this is an investment that will save lives.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“All of us know someone who has struggled with mental illness or addiction and have seen the heavy toll it takes on families and communities.”

“This is the biggest ever investment in mental health, but more importantly, it will mean thousands of Victorians get the treatment they need.”