The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of additional funding to combat the increased demand for mental health services, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RANZCP President, Associate Professor John Allan, explained that the extra funding will help services address the heightened anxiety and isolation experienced by Australians during the pandemic, especially Victorians.
‘With the COVID-19 pandemic dragging out longer than originally expected Australians are beginning to experience the mental exhaustion that this year has caused’, said Associate Professor Allan.
‘The government’s announcement of additional funding to help our mental health services deal with the increase in service usage is a welcome show of support.
‘While taking care of our physical health is important during this time, taking care of our mental health is just as important as the effects of the pandemic will have a long-lasting effect on us as individuals, as well as a community and country.’
The RANZCP Victorian Branch Chair, Dr Kerryn Rubin, especially welcomes the announcement, calling it a timely boost to already over-capacity services.
‘Victoria is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and a level of restrictions harsher than previously experienced’, said Dr Rubin.
‘The extension of these restrictions, on top of the previous period of isolation, will have lasting mental health effects on us as a community.
‘It is vital that all Victorians take care of their mental health during this time; reach out to friends and family virtually, get your hour of exercise and fresh air every day, but most importantly reach out to the mental health services that are available if you find yourself struggling.
‘We welcome the government’s announcement of extra funding to these services to increase their capacity and expand hours of availability to provide support to those experiencing mental ill health.
‘I urge all Victorians, and Australians more broadly, if you’re feeling anxious, depressed or mentally drained to reach out to the services we have available to us. Take care of your mental health.
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