|Reducing the Community Mental Health Service Gap
- The Government will commit $80 million over four years for community mental health services to assist people with severe mental illness resulting in psychosocial disability who are not eligible for assistance through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Services will be facilitated through Primary Health Networks to enable a regionally-focused, stepped care approach, improving coordination and integrated care for individuals with psychosocial disabilities. The additional Commonwealth investment will be delivered once agreements have been reached with appropriate commitments from each State and Territory.
The above statements come directly from the portfolio budget papers. MHCT has taken this to mean the Tasmanian State Government will need to take every opportunity to ensure that there is no gap in services for this cohort of people. Essentially, what piece of the pie Tasmanian’s needing psychosocial supports will get, will be determined on matching the contribution of the Commonwealth investment t and we encourage the State Government to leverage this opportunity to ensure the maximum benefit is secured for Tasmanians
What is also interesting about this measure is the Treasurer’s own assertions about who would be receiving this funding:
‘The biggest chunk of that pie is an $80 million commitment over four years for people who had been at risk of losing their mental health support services during the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Treasurer Scott Morrison said people with mental illnesses including “severe depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia and post-natal depression” would be covered under this scheme, for those requiring psychosocial services’ Click here to read the full story from Huffington Post Australia
MHCT is concerned that even with co-contribution from each state, this will not be enough to cover already under-supported illnesses such as eating disorders who still need very specific programs in addition to regular community mental health services. There are other mental illnesses not mentioned such as Borderline Personality Disorder, and there are people with those conditions that may lose services to the NDIS or do not have access to services currently. It is our hope that there is a solution out there for everyone that needs psychosocial supports.
We will be seeking further clarification on this over the coming weeks on this particular measure.