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Victorian Budget 21/22

Care in our rural and regional communities

Right now, too many people living in rural and regional Victoria cannot access care close to home.

Woman and man walking dog on a dirt path at Venus Bay

Instead, and often when they’re at their most vulnerable, they’re forced to travel away from their communities, families and support networks.

It's why our record investment ensures that care is extended to every corner of our state.

20 new local services for adults

That includes delivering the first 20 new local services embedded in local communities across Victoria, providing a front door for care for Victorians close to home. Three of our first six sites are in regional Victoria – Benalla, Latrobe Valley and Greater Geelong – along with services in Brimbank, Frankston and Whittlesea.

This investment has a double benefit of creating and supporting jobs in regional communities, getting even more Victorians back into work.

Ongoing funding for HOPE

This investment will also deliver ongoing funding for the successful Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program, ensuring the three regional sites funded in last year's Budget continue caring for their communities.

Follow-up care and outreach services

We’re also supporting follow-up care and outreach services with $17 million for nine new sites – including Bairnsdale, Hamilton, Horsham, Echuca, Swan Hill, Wangaratta, Bass Coast, Central Gippsland and West Gippsland.

New acute beds in Warrnambool

This Budget will also provide $11 million to deliver five new beds at the Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit at Warrnambool.

Investing in digital services

Last year, we experienced new and innovative ways of delivering care. It’s why a further $2.3 million will trial two new digital services, enabling rural and regional Victorians to access care from their own homes.

Boosting our regional mental health workforce

An additional $11 million will deliver a Rural and Regional Workforce Incentive Scheme, attracting and training more mental health professionals for our country communities.

Governance and oversight

To oversee our investments and make sure we’re meeting the needs of local communities, eight interim regional bodies will also be established statewide, providing on-the-ground insight and expertise.

A pathway to recovery

Together, these investments will give people in regional Victoria a pathway to recovery in their own community, and close to friends and family.

Media release

Better mental health care for regional Victoria

Creating jobs and caring for regional Victorians

Reviewed 20 May 2021

Priorities

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