Department of Health

Victorian State Budget Mental Health Highlights 2022-23

The 2022-23 Victorian State Budget furthers plans to build a new mental health and wellbeing system to meet the needs of Victorians now and into the future.

The Victorian Government's investment of $1.3 billion will continue to support the work underway to create a mental health and wellbeing system that provides holistic treatment, care and support for all Victorians.

This builds on the record $3.8 billion investment that was delivered for last year’s state budget.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health SystemExternal Link made 65 recommendations in its Final Report, handed down in March 2021, in addition to the nine recommendations in its Interim Report.

Working in partnership with people with lived experience of mental health challenges and/or psychological distress and their families and supporters continues to be at the heart of this once-in-a-generation reform and is critical in achieving better experiences and outcomes for Victorians with mental illness.

Victorian State Budget Mental Health Highlights 2022-23

  • To make sure people get the ongoing support they need when they’re in crisis or seriously ill, the 2022-23 State Budget invests more than $490 million in acute, hospital-based care – reducing waiting times and providing safer treatment, care and support to Victorians.

    Highlights include:

    • $196 million to deliver 15 more mental health acute beds in Shepparton and acquire land and plan for a further 49 beds in Ballarat and Wangaratta.

      This responds to recommendation 11 from the Final Report.

    • $143.4 million to open an extra 82 mental health beds at the Northern Hospital and Sunshine Hospital so that up to an additional 1,600 Victorians will get the inpatient care they need every year, as soon as they need it.

      This responds to recommendation 2 from the Interim Report.

    • $62.2 million to deliver infrastructure upgrades to at least 33 mental health intensive care areas. This will increase the safety of at-risk patients and reduce rates of gender-based harm.

      This responds to recommendation 13 of the Final Report.

    • $10 million to deliver emergency department hubs for regional Victorians experiencing serious mental health and alcohol and drug issues, with a hub at Latrobe Regional Hospital and planning for three further hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton.

      This responds to recommendation 8 from the Final Report.
  • Without the dedicated professionals who care for Victorians every day, the mental health system doesn’t exist – that’s why our work to build the mental health system is underpinned by a massive expansion to the mental health workforce.

    The workforce is critical to the delivery of safe, effective and compassionate care to consumers and their families, carers and supporters.

    The 2022-23 State Budget delivers a record investment of $372 million in workforce initiatives.

    This includes $41 million announced alongside the priorities and vision for workforce reform in Victoria's Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy, released in December 2021.

    The combined $372 million investment supports more than 100 psychiatry registrars, more than 400 mental health nurses, more than 300 psychologists and over 600 extra allied health clinicians in the mental health and wellbeing sector.

    Overall, more than $600 million has been invested since the release of the Royal Commission’s interim and final reports to grow and support the workforce, creating more than 2,500 new workers and roles in the system.

    This responds to recommendation 57 of the Final Report.

  • This year the Victorian Government will deliver a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, placing people with lived experience at the centre of service system architecture and introducing a new emphasis on prevention and mental wellbeing.

    An investment of $29.3 million will support the Act’s implementation including training for the mental health sector to deliver new models of care, help for Victorians to understand their rights and an independent review of compulsory treatment criteria.

    This responds to recommendation 42 from the Final Report.

  • We know that people with eating disorders respond best when mental health supports are provided early, and that in recent times many Victorians have sadly suffered a surge of new eating disorders.

    The Victorian Government is investing $20 million in dedicated, tailored support for those who need it, as soon as they need it.

    Highlights include:

    • $15.6 million to enhance services to deliver 15 mental health beds specifically for eating disorders. The funding will also allow expansion of an integrated specialist model to four regional health services, to increase state coverage and improve access to specialist eating disorder care especially for regional and rural Victorians.
    • $4.4 million to support the invaluable work of Eating Disorders Victoria and the Centre for Excellence in Eating Disorders to continue their important role in helping people living with eating disorders, as well as a new Victorian Eating Disorder Strategy – strengthening early intervention and prevention for people living with eating disorders.
  • The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System laid bare the barriers Aboriginal Victorians face in accessing culturally appropriate and safe mental health support – and we’re taking action to break that cycle.

    Building on last year's record investment of more than $116 million to support Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing outcomes, this 2022-23 State Budget focuses on working in close partnership with Aboriginal organisations to self-determine the best outcomes for their communities.

    Highlights include:

    • $3.5 million in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to support self-determined suicide prevention and response initiatives that we know will make an impact in regional communities.
    • $500,000 will support the co-design of two Aboriginal healing centres – to ensure that Aboriginal Victorians receive culturally safe, responsive and trauma informed social and emotional wellbeing support.

    This responds to recommendation 33 from the Final Report.

Reviewed 01 February 2024

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