The Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s firm commitment to funding recommendations made in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Interim Report.
‘These budget announcements reconfirm and reassure us of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing all recommendations from the Commission and are a step towards reforming the system so it meets the needs of all Victorians into the future,’ said RANZCP Victorian Branch Chair, Dr Kerryn Rubin.
‘We are pleased to see additional funding in direct response to COVID-19 to help Victorians as the state comes out of a period of significant distress.
‘The pandemic has highlighted existing gaps in the provision of mental health services in Victoria and created significant strain on an already overwhelmed system.’
The RANZCP Victorian Branch also acknowledges the importance of ensuring people with lived experience are embedded as leaders throughout mental health services to ensure structures and systems create safe, high-quality care for consumers and continuous improvement activities are undertaken.
‘The Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing will help to bring together people with lived experience, researchers and clinical experts to develop and promote adult mental health services and research,’ explained Dr Rubin.
‘This, along with funding committed to addressing the issues of workforce and bed shortages, early intervention and supports for our culturally and linguistically diverse communities, assures us as psychiatrists that the mental health of our state is a high priority for the government.
‘We are also encouraged by the commitment to the expansion of the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) service, especially after the recently reported elevated frequency of suicide in women aged 25-44.
‘As psychiatrists we have continued to raise concerns around the challenges people face when they are trying to access support and treatment within the current system.
‘Following the announcement within this Budget, we eagerly await the release of the Commission’s Final Report and the significant reform it is expected to set in motion.’
For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
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