Mental health budget boost a positive start for Tasmanians

27 August 2021
 
 
 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has welcomed the mental health announcements included in the Tasmanian Budget 2021-22.

Chair of the RANZCP Tasmanian Branch, Dr Ben Elijah, said the funding announced for mental health would be a much-needed boost to Tasmania’s mental health system.

‘It is a positive step to see the Tasmanian Government announcing $108 million of funding for mental health’, added Dr Elijah.

‘We are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to responding to Phase One and Two of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Review Report.

‘The $80 million for the Mental Health Precinct in Launceston General Hospital is a further announcement that we are pleased to see included in the Budget.

‘We also welcome the Government’s pledge to grow mental health services in the North. Further initiatives are much needed to address the long-standing inequality in mental health services availability for those in the North-West region.

‘Our mental health system, now more than ever, requires attention and funding from the Government as we experience a surge in service demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Dr Elijah added that whilst the announcement of extra mental health beds across the state is welcome, more needs to be done about addressing specific and general workforce shortages.

‘More targeted approaches will mean that people in need will be able to access the mental health care they need’, said Dr Elijah.

‘We remain concerned about the workforce requirements to service this expansion in facilities and how they will be recruited, given shortages in most mainland jurisdictions.

‘We look forward to working with the Tasmanian Government to implement these funding announcements and explore solutions to our workforce shortage.’

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

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org.