Department of Health

2021-22 Victorian State Budget Mental Health Highlights

The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget outlines a detailed plan to build a new mental health and wellbeing system to meet the needs of Victorians now and into the future.

The Victorian Government’s record budget investment of $3.8 billion dollars will lay the foundations of the new system and make sure it works for the people who use it. 

This State Budget responds to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission made 65 recommendations in its Final Report, handed down in March 2021, in addition to the nine recommendations in the Interim Report. The Victorian Government has committed to implementing all recommendations.

Funding from this budget fast-tracks priority recommendations and supports the work already underway from the Interim Report. 

The budget provides significant funding to restructure the mental health and wellbeing system. A new network of local services will be at the centre of the reformed system. These services will provide treatment, care, and support closer to people’s homes and community. 

The expertise of people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress will play a central role in the work ahead. They will participate in planning, delivering and leading services and programs in the new mental health and wellbeing system. 

The reforms depend on the support of a dedicated and skilled workforce. Funding provided in this State Budget will expand workforce positions and programs to deliver a sustainable and diverse workforce for the future. 

Last year’s State Budget delivered a record $869 million funding boost to the mental health system. The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget investment is a significant turning point. One that will deliver the mental health and wellbeing system that Victorians need and deserve. 

 

Victorian State Budget Mental Health Highlights 2021-22

  • The Victorian Government is investing in a range of new services so people can access treatment, care and support in their local community. This means for most people, help will be available close to home, their families, carers and support networks. 

    A new service system to meet individual needs

    • $264 million for the first 20 of up to 60 new Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services to help people access treatment, care and support close to their home and community. This includes six fast-tracked sites in Benalla, Brimbank, Frankston, Greater Geelong, La Trobe Valley and Whittlesea.
      This responds to Recommendation 3 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report.
    • $954 million for 22 reformed Adult and Older Adult Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services to help people with more complex needs. This will help better support the mental health and wellbeing of adults and older adults with higher levels of need.
      Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 3.
    • $196 million for dedicated services to support families through 13 new Infant, Child and Youth Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendations 3 and 19.

  • The sooner a person receives care for mental illness or psychological distress, the better. That is why the Victorian Government is investing in more mental health support for children and young people. The State Budget provides extra funding for schools to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of students. 

    Tailored care for young people

    • $266 million to deliver treatment, care and support for young people aged 12-25 through a dedicated youth mental health and wellbeing system.

    This responds to Recommendation 20 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report.

    Mental health reform in education

    • $200 million for schools to deliver mental health programs and activities that meet the needs of their students and school community. This means extra programs, staff and supports to help students when and where they need it most. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 17.

    More care options for young Victorians

    • $141 million for five new Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Units (Y-PARCs), totalling 50 beds specifically for young people aged 16 to 25 years. The units will provide sub-acute treatment, care and support in Melbourne’s North Eastern Metropolitan region as well as the Barwon South-West, Gippsland, Grampians and Hume regions. 
      Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 21. 
    • $16 million for four new Child and Youth HOPE (Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement) sites, specifically designed and delivered for children and young people.  
      Royal Commission Interim Report Recommendation 3.
    • $16.3 million to expand our Youth Mobile Targeted Assertive Outreach teams, which provide support to young people in their homes or other settings. This will see these services delivered state-wide. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 20.

  • Nobody knows our mental health system better than the people who’ve experienced it. That is why the expertise of people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress will be central to the work ahead. 

    A mental health and wellbeing system with lived experience at the centre

    • Funding is provided for a new non-government agency, residential service and website led by people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress.

    People with lived experience will be partners throughout the design and delivery of both the new lived experience agency and the new residential service. Importantly, people with lived experience will deliver the new services and programs run by both these organisations.

    This responds to Recommendations 29 and 6 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report, and Recommendation 5 of the Royal Commission's Interim Report.

  • This funding package ensures the voices of families are being heard at the heart of our system, while also recognising the additional support they need in caring for a loved one.

    Families, carers and supporters

    • $93 million in dedicated support for families and carers, including eight new family and carer-led centres across the state.  The centres will provide tailored information, connections to services, access to emergency funding, and links to local family and carer support groups. Programs will expand supports for young carers, children and young people who have a family member living with mental illness through peer-support, workshops, educational programs, camps, mentoring and personal and social development initiatives. 

    This responds to Recommendations 31 and 32 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report. 

  • Aboriginal people in Victoria will have more choice in how and where services are provided and where they receive care. These new initiatives will help Aboriginal people, communities, and families to access and receive safe, inclusive, respectful, and responsive services.  

    • $116 million to fund Aboriginal-led centres and services to provide culturally safe and appropriate care for Aboriginal people, families and communities. This includes funding to Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations for social and emotional wellbeing services for children and young people.

    This responds to Recommendation 33 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report and Recommendation 5 in the Royal Commission’s Interim Report.

  • The Victorian Government supports the Royal Commission’s vision of a safe, responsive and inclusive mental health and wellbeing system. This State Budget includes new and expanded existing programs to ensure Victoria’s diverse communities have equal access to mental health and wellbeing services. 

    Improving accessibility for diverse communities

    • $6.4 million in funding for Switchboard’s Rainbow Door to increase support for young LGBTIQ+ Victorians, and additional support for young carers. 

    This responds to Recommendation 34 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report.

  • The State Budget delivers alternatives to a hospital emergency department for people in crisis, including home-based care. Additional mental health beds will improve access for Victorians needing acute care, and ease pressure on hospital emergency departments. 

    More beds for acute care

    • Commissioning a total of 104 new acute mental health beds across Victoria – including 35 acute mental health beds specifically for Victorian women in need.

    This responds to Recommendation 11 in the Royal Commission Final Report.

    • $10.9 million will deliver five additional acute mental health beds at South West Healthcare in Warrnambool.
    • $36.3 million will support 24 ‘Mental Health Hospital in the Home’ beds, to continue delivering an alternative to acute hospital based treatment, providing wraparound care for Victorians within the comfort of their own homes and close to their support network.
    • $5.1 million for the development and trial of an intensive 14- day support program for adults who are experiencing psychological distress, including outreach within 24 hours of referral. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 27.

    Improvements for Thomas Embling Hospital in Fairfield

    $349.6 million to expand and improve the Thomas Embling Hospital in Fairfield so it can continue to meet the needs of people who require a very high level of care, treatment and support.   

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendations 38 and 13.

  • New funding ensures that mental health and wellbeing promotion and suicide prevention will focus on the places that positively shape our mental health and wellbeing, such as our schools, workplaces and homes.  

    Suicide prevention and response

    • $173.3 million over four years to deliver new and expanded suicide prevention programs and services for children, young people and adults.  A new Suicide Prevention and Response Office will facilitate a government and community-wide suicide prevention and response effort. This includes continued support for the successful HOPE (Hospital Outreach Post‑suicidal Engagement) program.

    This responds to Recommendations 26 and 27 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report.

    Promoting good mental health and wellbeing and preventing mental illness

    • Funding is provided for a new Mental Health Promotion Office to deliver a mental health and wellbeing strategy for Victoria that prioritises public health principles, human rights and reducing inequalities.  

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 2.

    • Funding is provided for social prescribing trials to connect adults, particularly older people to activities in their community to combat loneliness and social isolation. Social prescribing allows healthcare professionals to refer people to local activities to help in their recovery.

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 15.

    Housing support for adults and young people living with mental illness

    • $46 million for 2,000 dwellings for adults living with mental illness who require ongoing intensive treatment, care and support, and to start planning for a further 500 Youth Supported Housing places for young people with mental illness who are experiencing homelessness.  

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 25.

  • The Victorian Government is taking action to improve access to mental health and wellbeing services in rural and regional Victoria. This State Budget invests in regional mental health support services – making sure help is available in every corner of our State. 

    Support for people in rural and regional Victoria
    • $2.3 million to trial two new digital services, so rural and regional Victorians can access care from their own homes. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 39.

    • $17 million for the HOPE (Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement) program to extend to nine subregional sites in Bairnsdale, Bass Coast, Central Gippsland, West Gippsland, Hamilton, Horsham, Echuca, Swan Hill, and Wangaratta. 

    Royal Commission Interim Report Recommendation 3

    Good mental health and wellbeing in local communities

    • Funding is provided to continue the current ‘Youth Live 4 Life’ and ‘Be Well in the Ranges’ programs, tailored regional mental health programs that work closely with young people and those affected by bushfires, respectively.  

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 15.

    Building the mental health and wellbeing workforce in country Victoria

    • $11 million for a Rural and Regional Workforce Incentive Scheme, attracting, training and recruiting more mental health professionals to our country communities. 
      Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 57.
  • The new system will be more responsive to individual needs. State-wide services will be better linked and coordinated, and more services will be provided locally for people with higher levels of need.   

    Mental health-led emergency responses for Victorians in crisis

    • $7.5 million will commence work to establish Ambulance Victoria as the lead responder to triple zero calls primarily concerning mental illness or psychological distress, This ensures Victorians have access to a health professional when they’re experiencing a crisis and need the support of emergency services. 

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendations 3, 8 and 10.

    Support for people with lived experience of trauma

    • Support to design a new State-wide Trauma Service to bring together mental health practitioners, trauma experts, peer workers and Victorians with lived experience of trauma to undertake research, education and training to support our mental health workforce deliver trauma-informed care.

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 23.

    Support for people living with mental illness and substance use or addiction 

    • Programsfor specialist services and integrated support for people living with mental illness and substance use or addiction.

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 36.

    Support for people in the criminal justice system

    • Programs to ensure consistent treatment and support for adult and young people at risk and suitable treatment for people within the justice system and linking them to appropriate mainstream services after their release.  

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 37.

  • Plans to fundamentally redesign our mental health system cannot be delivered without the support of a highly skilled workforce. This budget will create new jobs in the mental health sector and more training and education opportunities. The reforms will further expand, diversify and support the mental health workforce. There will be new incentives and supports for mental health professionals to train, live and work in regional and rural communities.

    Expanding and supporting the mental health workforce

    • $206 million to expand and support the mental health and wellbeing workforce to deliver a reformed system.  

    This responds to Recommendation 57 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report and Recommendation 7 in the Royal Commission’s Interim Report.

    This total funding includes:

    • $120.4 million for training support, delivering 120 graduate placements for nurses, 140 postgraduate mental health scholarships, and additional graduate placements for allied health professionals and additional psychiatry rotations for junior doctors.  
    • $40.7 million to expand Victoria’s lived experience workforces. This includes continuation of our Free TAFE course for Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, improving organisational readiness, increasing cadetship positions as well as improving educational and career pathways to build a pipeline of lived experience workers. 
  • The Victorian Government will commence work on realising the Royal Commission’s vision of a system that is digitally-enabled, continually learning and evolving.

    Establishing the Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing

    • $18 million to establish the Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing. The Collaborative Centre will bring together people with lived experience, researchers and clinicians to develop and provide adult mental health services, conduct research and share knowledge, including working with services and research organisations in rural and regional areas.  The Government intends to introduce legislation to establish the Collaborative Centre in 2021, so an independent Board can be established early in 2022.

    This responds to Recommendation 63 in the Royal Commission’s Final Report and Recommendation 1 in the Royal Commission’s Interim Report.

    A new approach to information management to facilitate better information-sharing for consumers

    • $2.5 million commence work to improve service planning, commissioning, and performance monitoring in future. This includes planning for a new user-friendly online consumer portal connected to the Mental Health Information and Data Exchange – allowing consumers to view information about themselves and authorise sharing of information with members of their care team, including families, carers and supporters.

    Royal Commission Final Report Recommendation 62.

     

Reviewed 20 May 2021

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