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Victorian Budget 22/23

Building a mental health system that works

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System told us, when it comes to accessing mental healthcare, Victorians often struggle to access the mental health support they need until it’s too late.

Three people talking around an outdoor table

Last year, we promised we’d fix our broken mental health system by building a new one from the ground up.

In the 2020/21 Budget, we invested $869 million to lay the foundation for a new mental health and wellbeing system, and we provided extra funding for mental health services throughout the pandemic.

This was followed by a record investment of $3.8 billion in last year’s Budget to support Victorians and speed up these nation-leading and life-saving reforms.

This Budget builds on these investments with $1.3 billion to take the next steps in this process, including:

  • $218 million to operationalise 82 new beds in Victoria’s mental health system and other priority initiatives
  • $196 million to replace and expand the mental health facility at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton, and to purchase land and undertake further planning to deliver additional acute mental health beds in regional Victoria
  • $124 million for the next stage of redevelopment of the Thomas Embling Hospital to deliver critical supporting infrastructure, additional parking and the bed replacement program
  • $65 million to deliver an electronic mental health and wellbeing record, information exchange platform, and an online portal to support mental health and wellbeing services
  • $62 million for upgrade works across intensive care areas of Victoria's mental health facilities, creating dedicated spaces to improve the separation of vulnerable patients, including providing for gender-based separation
  • $54 million to deliver treatment, care and support for people with a co-occurring mental illness and substance use or addiction in all Adult and Youth Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services
  • $29 million to support the implementation of new mental health and wellbeing legislation, and to deliver an independent review of compulsory treatment criteria
  • $10 million for the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Facilities Renewal Fund to help acute and community-based facilities to deliver the best, recovery-oriented services for Victorians
  • $5 million to help plan the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing – bringing together people with lived experience, researchers and clinicians to establish best practice in mental health and wellbeing services.

Media releases

A mental health system to work for every VictorianExternal Link

Helping more Victorians get faster, fairer justiceExternal Link

  • When our mental health system fails Victorians in need, it fails their families and carers too.

    Instead of feeling supported, loved ones are often left searching in an overburdened and understaffed system.

    This Budget invests $12 million in mental health and wellbeing support for regional families whose children are accessing acute care, and providing group-based parenting sessions to Victorian parents who need somewhere to turn while navigating the system.

    We also know that local support systems are so important in improving mental health outcomes, which is why we’re investing in Victoria’s community mental health services. That means bringing together locals who know their communities best and can develop new solutions to improve and build community resilience, social connection and inclusion.

    There is an extra $9.1 million to establish Social Inclusion Action groups in 10 local government areas to build on the success of local community mental health groups in these areas.

    We know that the earlier we reach someone struggling with their mental health – the better. This Budget provides a $21 million package to support suicide prevention initiatives, including aftercare services and an 18-month pilot of a statewide peer call-back service for families, carers and supporters of people experiencing suicidal behaviour.

    We are also investing $20 million to support broader approaches to eating disorder care and support. This includes funding to expand services with 15 dedicated beds to provide more care to Victorians with an eating disorder. We'll also fund a statewide eating disorder strategy and invest in existing programs – because no one should have to go it alone.

  • In addition to these key reforms, we are investing in our mental health workforce because building a new mental health system requires a lot of people.

    We’re investing a record $372 million in our mental health workforce – supporting clinical training for the existing workforce and additional jobs where they’re needed most, on top of the approximately 580 extra places we have already delivered.

    That’s training for more than 1,500 mental health workers, including more than 100 psychiatrists, 300 psychologists and 400 mental health nurses, so they can give the very best care.

Reviewed 03 May 2022


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