People living with mental illness, their families and carers will benefit from a record investment of $2.1 billion in mental health services and infrastructure funding in the NSW Budget 2018.
Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said this significant increase on last year will ensure critical mental health services meet the needs of people in NSW experiencing mental health issues.
“Our focus is to improve the lives of people in NSW living with mental illness by delivering better care in hospital and making supports available for them, their families and carers, in the community,” Mrs Davies said.
The record mental health Budget includes the $700 million statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program to support the 10-year Living Well reform of mental health care in NSW.
“This is the biggest single investment in mental health infrastructure in Australia’s history and will help us build specialist mental health units in Western Sydney for young people, mothers and their babies, older people, and enhance ‘step-up stepdown’ capacity in the community.”
“The infrastructure program will transform existing mental units to support new contemporary care models,” Mrs Davies said.
Key initiatives in the recurrent mental health Budget include:
- $100 million per annum over four years to strengthen early intervention and specialist community mental health teams, enhance psychosocial supports, and transition long-stay patients into the community;
- $39.4 million to deliver an additional 1400 mental health admissions in addition to the 37,500 currently provided; and
- $42 million for additional community-based mental health services and supports.
In addition, $20 million is being committed in 2018-19 to improve therapeutic environments inside mental health units and commence planning for a number of key projects as part of the $700 million Mental Health Infrastructure Program, including:
- New specialist mental health units including 6-10 beds for children and adolescents, 20 beds for older persons, 20 medium secure beds, and 6-12 beds for mothers and their babies;
- Up to 260 new ‘step-up step-down’ community-based beds to support the transition of long stay mental health patients from hospital and the recovery of consumers in the community;
- Additional beds for the forensic mental health network; and
- Physical upgrades or refurbishments of a number of existing acute mental health units, including facilities in Tamworth and Albury.