The Victorian government yesterday delivered details about the 2020/2021 budget, including $868.6 million put aside for mental health support. Much of this funding is in direct response to the Mental Health Royal Commission Interim Report released at the start of this year, with a focus on ensuring that a lived experience lens is present within Victoria’s mental health system. Some of the key highlights of this budget are:
- ·$2.2 million will help design the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, a new centre dedicated to bringing together the experts on our mental health system – researchers, academics and those who’ve experienced it firsthand.
- $16 million will help those same Victorians use their own very real and personal experience to support and champion for others in need – with new training positions, education and opportunities for employment.
- $8.7 million to establish a residential mental health service, specifically designed and delivered by those with lived experience. This service will deliver short-term care and support in a residential community setting, designed as a true alternative to acute hospital-based care.
In regards to VMIAC’s consumer perspectives, it is important to note the $21.4 million set to support a state-wide expansion of the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE). This project was discussed and championed by many of our consumers during our own Royal Commission consultations, so it is exciting to see this project receive such attention during this budget announcement. This alongside the emphasis on lived experience workforce shows that the government is really following the lead of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Prior to this release, the only key recommendation that had been budgeted for was the expansion of mental health beds, so this is a very welcome announcement.