Department of Health

Increasing access to acute mental health care for Victorians

The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget is investing $3.8 billion to reform the state’s mental health system, including $1.96 billion in programs, services and facilities to support Victorians in need of acute mental health treatment, care and support.


These new services and initiatives will ensure that Victorians can receive holistic care and ongoing support when they need it.

New hospital and home-based mental health beds

The funding will deliver 104 new acute mental health beds. This includes 35 beds specifically for Victorian women in need.

This new women’s mental health unit will be the first of their kind in Victoria and will deliver an innovative response to the mental health needs of women.

An extra 82 beds will be provided at the Thomas Embling Hospital in Fairfield, supporting Victorians in need of specialist forensic mental health care.

Emergency and trauma-informed care

A new Statewide Trauma Service will undertake research, education and training to support our mental health workforce. The Centre will bring together mental health practitioners, trauma experts, peer workers and Victorians with lived experience of trauma to design new and specialised approaches to trauma-informed care.

A new system focussed on mental health-led emergency responses will support Victorians experiencing a mental health crisis who contact emergency services.

People who need mental health support will be able to be transported to mental health clinicians in triage services, instead of to hospital emergency departments. Paramedics and police officers will also receive specialised training in responding to mental health emergencies.

Suicide prevention and follow-up care

Nine recently established Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) sites will receive ongoing funding. Sites include both metropolitan and regional locations across Victoria. 

Funding will also allow the services to expand their referral pathways, extend service hours, and provide additional outreach to regional areas.

This will complete the statewide rollout of adult HOPE services, delivering on a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The HOPE expansion will help ensure more Victorians have the one-on-one support they need.

Additional funding will support the development of an intensive 14-day support program for adults experiencing psychological distress. The program will provide outreach within 24 hours of referral, and will be trialled in one metropolitan and one regional area of Victoria.

The Budget also includes funding for initiatives to support young people needing acute treatment and care. Find out more about new mental health and wellbeing services and support for infants, children and young people.

Read about Budget outcomes, including initiatives to deliver acute mental health treatment and care, on the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget website or visit the Health.Vic website for an overview of mental health Budget highlights.

Reviewed 25 March 2022


Contact Us

Mental Health and Wellbeing Division

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