26 September 2023

Crisis puts pressure on mental health

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The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that Victoria’s mental health system is to receive additional resources, staff and vital programs as more people are seeking help due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley said an additional $19.5 million had been allocated to deliver essential reform recommendations made in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System interim report.

“[The] extra funding will address critical workforce shortages, support the continued roll out of suicide prevention programs and help in the continued engagement of Victorians with a lived experience of mental illness,” Mr Foley said.

“Reforming our mental health system in Victoria and nationally is now more important than ever, as more people reach out for help following the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“This is the best chance that all levels of Government will have to not only flatten the next curve of mental ill health – but to build a better system for the long-term that will ultimately save lives.”

Mr Foley said the funds would address workforce challenges identified in the Royal Commission’s interim report by providing extra junior medical staff training rotations in psychiatry and 60 new graduate mental health nurse placements.

He said 24 new Hospital in the Home beds would be provided, 15 of which would be for young Victorians with existing mental health issues.

“[This will] mean more Victorians can access specialist mental health care in their own homes with their support networks around them” he said.

Mr Foley said the State-wide rollout of the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal after Engagement (HOPE) program was to be expanded.

He said funding would be provided to Mental Health Reform Victoria which sought feedback from Victorians who had experienced the delivery of the Commission’s recommendations, to continue the implementation of reforms.

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