The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) welcomes the Victorian government’s funding commitment to improving the state’s family violence, forensic mental health and drug and alcohol abuse support services outlined in the state budget 2017-18.
‘The RANZCP Victorian branch would like to congratulate the state government on a well thought-through budget, we see this budget as a step towards redressing the long term under-resourcing of mental health services in Victoria,’ Victorian branch Chair, Clinical Associate Professor Richard Newton said.
‘This budget has made ending family violence a key priority with the commitment of $1.9 billion over four years to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
‘The budget has also allowed for an investment of $95.4 million into the growth of the family violence support workforce, both are significant investments that will save lives and support families.
‘The Victorian branch is especially pleased with the $45.2 million commitment from the Victorian government to expand the state’s forensic mental health services, which at present struggles to meet demand.
‘And we are also pleased to see the government striving to address the major public problem of alcohol and drug abuse through a funding boost to substance abuse treatment services of $78.4 million.
‘The Victorian branch believes that the government’s commitment to an increase in recurrent funding for specialist community mental health services will help Victorians receive effective and appropriate care in their own homes when unwell and contribute to improved longer term recovery-based care where needed.
‘Mental ill health has a major impact on the Victorian community. Each year 1.2 million Victorians will experience mental illness and nearly half of all Victorians (45%) will experience mental illness in their lifetime. The Victorian branch is pleased to see the government providing more funding to help address this,’ Professor Newton said.
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.