Mental Health To Be Taken Seriously

Mental Health To Be Taken Seriously

Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu

Coalition’s $108.55 Million Plan To Fix Mental Health Care Neglect

Victor P Taffa

Victorians with a mental illness will have improved access to first-rate hospital and Community-Based Mental Health Services under a $108.55 Million Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan to Deliver Better Mental Health Care, Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu said today.

The Coalition’s comprehensive plan will overhaul the current system and improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of mental illness, focusing on both community and inpatient care and the funding of 85 new Mental Health Care Beds.

“People living with a mental illness have been neglected by Premier John Brumby and Labor’s incompetence and mismanagement has left many continuing to fall through the gaps.” Mr. Baillieu said.



“Thousands of people living with a mental illness are unable to access care in the community or get an inpatient bed, and are missing out on community care after leaving hospital.”

“Only the Coalition will fix Victoria’s crisis-driven Mental Health System and ensure that Victorians with a mental illness get access to appropriate care and treatment when they need it.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“The Coalition’s plan will support Victorians with a mental illness in managing their illness at home or in the community, and in the process have the added benefit of reducing the demand for hospital beds.”

“The Coalition will build a new approach to improved mental health by removing the barriers to care and providing Victorians affected by mental illness with the treatment they need and deserve in hospital and in the community.” Mr. Baillieu said.

The Coalition’s plan to intervene early and improve mental health by boosting community-based care and making it easier to access and exit clinical care includes:

• Investing $19.3 Million in enhanced community-based support services to maximise individuals’ chances of ongoing recovery;

• Investing $9.7 Million in three extra Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) facilities (30 beds) which provide appropriate community care instead of, prior to and/or after a hospital stays including a PARC specifically for women;

• Piloting the placement of dedicated Housing, Education and Employment Officers in Area Mental Health Services to improve Accommodation, Skill Development and future job prospects for People with a Mental Illness ($1.8 Million);

• Investing $3.2 Million in an innovative new housing model utilising the Private Rental Market for people with a Mental Illness to live in the community.

The Coalition’s Plan to tackle Mental Illness and suicide for young Victorians includes:

• Giving young people better access to targeted mental health services by investing $6 Million in the Headspace Youth Mental Health Foundation, including new centres in Bendigo and Collingwood and advocating for and investing in new centres in Ballarat, Ringwood and Dandenong;

• Investing $3.4 Million to establish an intensive eating disorder outpatient, day and Inpatient Program at the Royal Children’s Hospital to help young Victorians with an eating disorder and assist their families;

• Setting up a high-level taskforce to develop an eating disorders strategy;

• Developing a Victorian suicide prevention strategy in co-ordination with local communities, local government and non-government organisations;

• Investing $4 Million in targeted Mental Health and Suicide initiatives for gay, lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender young people.

The Coalition will also take pressure off acute inpatient beds, reducing hospital waiting times, and fund accommodation and care tailored to meet individual needs by:

• Investing $18.3 Million in a new Secure Step-down Care model comprising 20 beds to support people who need a secure, long-term environment with a lower level of clinical care for management of their Mental Illness;

• Investing $15.7 Million for 20 additional Mental Health Beds in areas of high need;

• Investing $12.1 Million in establishing three new mother and baby units (15 beds) in Regional Victoria for women with Post-Natal Depression;

• Investing $4 Million to establish gender-separated spaces in existing facilities and committing to gender-separated environments in new facilities;

• Creating a Central Co-ordinator of inpatient beds to improve access ($1.04 M);

• Investing $10 Million to create the Mental Illness Research Fund (MIRF) to fund collaborative research to improve evidence-based practice.

The budgeted total expenditure under the Coalition Plan, via recurrent funding and capital expenditure from the $1 Billion Health Infrastructure Fund, is set at $108.55 Million across four years.

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Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.