New study shows benefits of mental health investment
A new report from Mental Health Australia has outlined the economic benefits of investing in mental health. Investing to Save tackles a set of complex issues from a new perspective, and a new pragmatic approach to the scale of the task of reforming our mental health system.

The report identified three key areas for action:
•    Support people with mental health issues to gain and maintain employment, and maintain the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce.
•    Minimise avoidable emergency department presentations and hospitalisations.
•    Invest in promotion, prevention and early intervention.

It suggests that interventions such as resilience training and stress management can deliver significant improvements in people’s mental health.

“Every day many thousands of professionals help many thousands of consumers and carers live contributing lives in the community and in a range of service settings, and that work must continue. But every day, many people also miss out on the services they need, or our ailing systems fail in crucial ways,” said Mental Health Australia chairwoman Jennifer Westacott.

“This report makes a vital contribution to remedying some of those failures with a very specific to-do list which makes economic sense. A list backed by evidence and sound economic modelling. 

“And a list for governments to act on now, using the governance framework and priorities that all governments have agreed in the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.”

“It shows how with the right targeted investments, we can improve the mental health of our community, and in turn the mental wealth of the nation.”

Link: Investing to Save - KPMG and Mental Health Australia report - May 2018

Mental health gets record boost
The Victorian government will plough $705 million into mental health services and infrastructure.

The state's overburdened mental health sector will receive 90 acute inpatient and 90 drug rehabilitation beds, more mental health support workers and new hospital outreach sites for people who have attempted suicide.

Six new emergency department crisis hubs will also be created within existing hospital emergency departments at Monash, Royal Melbourne, St Vincent’s, Sunshine, Frankston and Geelong hospitals.

The hubs will separate drug-addicted patients and those with serious mental health problems from others waiting in emergency departments. 
Health Minister Martin Foley said the investment wasn’t “just dollars and cents, this will save lives”.

The Victorian Government will also spend $8.4 million to make sure Aboriginal Victorians in need receive appropriate mental health support. This includes 15 traineeship positions in mental health services, to enhance culturally appropriate care.

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

Read more here: More funding for mental health to save lives

Nominate a great carer
Nominations are open in this year’s Tandem Awards for exceptional service to families and carers in mental health. The awards are open to anyone who has significantly improved the experience of family and friends in the Victorian mental health system “with a family inclusive focus”. Nominations close 31 August.

Read more here: Tandem Awards 2018

Apply for a community grant
Applications for Westpac Foundation community grants are open to community groups working towards social inclusion for disadvantaged people. The Foundation will award $2 million in funding to community organisations.

Grants provide $10,000 in funding as well as non-financial support to community organisations across the country. Since 1999, Westpac Foundation has provided more than $35 million to over 590 not-for-profit organisations.

Read more here: Westpac Grants

Brain injury and domestic violence report
Brain Injury Australia recently launched the first report into research into family violence and brain injury.

Among the findings was that of the 16,000 people who attended hospital over a decade due to family violence, two in every five sustained a brain injury. Also, nearly one in every three victims of family violence were children and, of those, one in every four sustained a brain injury.

The report – launched by former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty – was researched by a consortium led by Brain Injury Australia of Monash University, Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

Read more: Brain Injury Australia

Looking for new ways of living well with bipolar disorder?
Join people from around the world in trying out exciting new online resources designed to improve quality of life for people with bipolar disorder.

The international research program is trialling online, self-help programs designed to improve quality of life for people who experience bipolar disorder. There are videos, exercises, tools, forums and access to a personal online coach.

Go to: ORBIT Research Program

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