The allocation of $705m in the recent Victorian Government Budget towards acute mental health and alcohol and drug services is welcomed by Wellways Australia. However, the lack of investment in community mental health care for the third year in a row is of concern.
“Victoria has gone from one of the leaders in community mental health services to lagging behind the other states” said Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther.
“The transition to NDIS means that significant numbers of people are not getting a service and even those that do get in are getting disability support not psycho-social rehabilitation services.
“This puts more pressure on emergency departments and means people have no after care post-hospitalisation as the government has withdrawn the funding of community managed mental health support services,” said Ms Crowther.
It is also noted that there is still no investment to provide support for people who care for those with mental health issues. Carers provide a vital role in mental health supports and their role must be recognised and adequately resourced.
In this election year, Wellways is calling on the Victorian Government and the opposition parties to promise reinvestment in community-managed mental health services, to provide early interventions and continuity of care, from acute admissions through to recovery and return to the community.
These services help people to stay well in the community and prevent further costly hospital admissions.
For more information:
Jane Kenrick, Media Officer, Wellways Australia
firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph: 03 8486 4208 M: 0428 899 845