Psychiatrists welcome record mental health funding in Victorian budget

21 May 2021
 
 
 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) applauds the government’s record funding announced in today’s budget, that will improve access to mental health care for all Victorians.

RANZCP Victorian Branch Chair, Dr Astha Tomar, welcomed the $3.8 billion funding to deliver on recommendations of the Royal Commission, saying the Branch looks forward to working with the government on the implementation of these reforms.

‘It is terrific to see that this budget continues the government’s commitment to placing people first, which includes the promised funding that the sector has advocated for over many years’, said Dr Tomar.

‘The budget underscores the central premise of the Royal Commission that every person has a right to appropriate and effective mental health care, whenever and wherever they need it.

‘We look forward to reviewing the announcements more closely when further detail is provided but this is a positive step forward for Victoria’s mental health system.

‘The inclusion of equitable funding across the state to establish 20 older adult local mental health and wellbeing centres is a vital step to ensuring that there is assistance available to every Victorian.

‘Funding for the development of a workforce strategy is welcomed as essential to developing a plan to increase mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, which are urgently required to ensure that the Royal Commission recommendations can be implemented.

‘As the government has indicated, the mental healthcare workforce across the sector is under significant strain and the number of professionals in the system must be increased to effectively staff the proposed new models of service delivery.

‘Funding to incentivise professionals to remain in rural and regional areas is appreciated, as maintaining and increasing our current workforce in these areas will be of paramount importance to supporting the new centres.

‘The RANZCP Victorian Branch recognises the important investment in leadership, governance and accountability to build the capacity of the sector to effectively train mental health professionals across multidisciplinary teams and better support coordinated responses to local needs.’

‘The commitment to significantly upgrade the Thomas Embling hospital is a foundational step to ensuring that Victorians being treated in the justice system have access to targeted clinical care that will support their recovery.’

‘The funding will allow for a more contemporary facility that has enhanced capacity to also care for those in the community with acute needs.’

The RANZCP Victorian Branch looks forward to continuing to work closely with the government, mental health service providers as well as those with lived experience, their families and carers, to begin the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations to build a mental health system that meets the needs of every Victorian.

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 +61 437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org.