Western Australia Minister for Mental Health Graham Jacobs
State Budget 2010-11: First Ever Budget For New Approach To Mental Health
Victor P Taffa
The Liberal-National Government has delivered an historical budget for Mental Health in Western Australia.
Mental Health Minister Graham Jacobs said $506.561 Million was allocated for mental health services in 2010-11 through the new Mental Health Commission and $28.9 Million over four years for 10 new acute mental health beds at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital through the Department of Health.
As a part of the State Government’s $128.7 Million reform program to improve indigenous health in WA during the next three years, $22 Million is allocated to establish a dedicated Aboriginal Mental Health Service in the Mental Health Commission.
“For the first time, mental health in WA is getting the attention it deserves from Government.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“The new Mental Health Commission supplied through a separate Budget will enable the State Government to provide the best possible services to patients.”
The Minister said the new Mental Health Commission will oversee a move towards purchaser-provider arrangements for mental health services in WA.
“Mental health services must be better co-ordinated and integrated with the overall objective to increasing the provision of community-based services.” the Minister said.
“The urgent priority in WA is to improve the way individualised care is provided and co-ordinated for people with mental health illnesses.”
“The new Mental Health Commission will give mental health consumers and carers more input into the planning and delivery of mental health services.”
“Services will continue to be delivered by a range of providers, including public area health services, community and non-profit organisations and the private sector.”
“The Liberal-National Government is forging ahead with other election commitments such as the $13 Million ‘Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Drug and Alcohol Interagency Strategic Framework for Western Australia 2010-2015’.
The Government recognises the individual and communal importance of preventing and reducing drug use harm, high risk alcohol use and abuse. Maintaining substantial funding of the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO) is crucial
“This Budget allocates $57.3 Million for DAO’s ongoing State-wide network of treatment services, prevention programs and research activities.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“DAO is especially active in developing strategies for alcohol programs and counselling initiatives for indigenous people residing in rural towns and remote communities, particularly in the Kimberley and the Pilbara.”
“It will be instrumental in implementing the new ‘Drug and Alcohol Interagency Strategic Framework for Western Australia 2010-15’.”