Queensland's State Budget provides a much-needed boost to the delivery of mental health services for Queenslanders.
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Queensland Chair, Prof Brett Emmerson, said the $1.645 billion over 5 years allocated in the budget is a big step in the right direction when it comes to mental health funding in the state. The final recurrent increase to budget is $418 million.
The funds are to be raised from a payroll levy – similar to that in place in Victoria – a move which has the support of the RANZCP Queensland Branch.
“The budget shows the Queensland Government is serious about delivering the mental health services that Queenslanders deserve,” Prof Emmerson said.
“Queenslanders deserve a world-class mental health system and this additional funding moves us closer to achieving that. It’s not going to fix all the issues overnight, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
“The five years of funding provided in the budget will go some way to providing the long-term certainty we need to see. It allows for longer term workforce and service planning, which is critical in this space.
Prof Emmerson said the boost to funding follows the recent recommendations of the mental health inquiry.
“The Queensland Government, and in particular the Minister, should be congratulated for listening to the concerns from the frontline that were voiced through the Inquiry and for acting swiftly to address them.
Prof Emmerson said the RANZCP Queensland Branch looks forward to working with the government on the detail of exactly how the funding will be delivered.
“Having frontline workers involved in the strategic planning around how exactly these funds will be allocated and delivered is critical, so we’re looking forward to working closely with the Queensland Government on that.”
For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments and other groups on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.
In Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention.