Psychiatrists welcome Victorian government commitment to mental health

15 May 2020
 
 
 

The Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP Victorian Branch) welcomes the Victorian Government’s ongoing commitment to reforming the mental health system to ensure all Victorians have access to high-quality care when and where the need it. 

The Minister for Mental Health this morning announced a further $19.5 million in funding to progress implementation of recommendations in the Interim Report released by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System in 2019.

‘Chair of the RANZCP Victorian Branch, Dr Kerryn Rubin, said the RANZCP Victorian Branch considers this funding essential to the ongoing program of reform for the mental health system in Victoria.

‘It is pleasing to see the Victorian Government continuing to invest in the building blocks of a mental health system which meets the needs of all Victorians into the future.

‘With our communities going through something they’ve never before experienced, it is more important now, than ever, to fortify our mental health system to be able to effectively support individuals, families and carers.

The funding will include $2.27 million to boost junior medical officer rotations in psychiatry from 2021, $4.8 million to support 24 innovative Hospital in the Home programs, and $950,000 to extend funding for the three new Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) sites in Shepparton, Epping and Bairnsdale.

Dr Rubin said this funding reflects a step in the right direction but emphasised there is still much work to be done.

‘The RANZCP Victorian Branch has strongly advocated for more junior medical officers to undertake psychiatry rotations to increase mental health skills amongst the medical workforce.

‘We welcome the new investment in inpatient beds across the state for those who are most unwell and hope to see this complemented by improved services in the community so people can be supported to stay well.

‘We will continue to work closely with governments, mental health service providers and psychiatrists as well as those with lived experience, their families and carers, and Mental Health Reform Victoria to advocate for a mental health system which meets the needs of Victorians in the 21st century.’

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org.

For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.