Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership
Mental Health Victoria, the peak body for community managed mental health services, welcomes the funding announced for mental health in the 2017 budget last night.
Acknowledging the critical concerns expressed by the community mental health sector about the gap in psychosocial support services for those not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the budget includes a total of $80 million additional funding for the States and Territories over four years to maintain community psychosocial services for people with mental illness who do not qualify for assistance through the Scheme.
"Mental Health Victoria welcomes the leadership shown by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, who continues to put a strong focus on mental health and stands firm behind his commitment to improve mental health services for Australians living with mental illness", said Mental Health Victoria CEO, Angus Clelland.
"The funding will result in $7.8m in 2017-18, and approximately $24.0m each year until 2020-21. The Minister has stressed however that the funding is contingent on a matching commitment from the States and Territories.
"For some time, Mental Health Victoria has called on the Victorian Government to address the looming gap in Victoria’s mental health service system, as a significant proportion of the Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS) funding is transferred to the NDIS over the next two years.
"However, given that the funding is contingent on the collaboration of all governments, we implore Victorian State Government decision makers to come to the table, match the funding and ensure support is provided to people who need it now, in Barwon, and in the recent NDIS roll out areas", Mr Clelland said.
"Despite the encouraging actions of the Federal Government surrounding mental health, we are concerned by the punitive welfare measures that are proposed around increased activity requirements and a proposed trial to drug test welfare recipients’ Mr Clelland said.
‘We know people with mental illness are likely to be impacted by these proposals and are over represented in these groups and the Government should be supporting them to recover and be a part of their community".
Mental Health Victoria also welcomes these other measures in the budget:
Mental Health Victoria and its members stand ready to work with the Victorian Government to support those affected by mental illness, their carers and families.
10 May 2017
Media contact – Debra Parnell, Policy & Communications Manager – (03) 9519 7000
Twitter @Mental Health Victoria
Read the CMHA media release from Community Mental Health Victoria
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