The Andrews Labor Government will provide $70 million to Victoria’s community mental health sector so that people with a mental illness don’t fall through the cracks created by the Federal Liberal Government’s mishandling of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout.
Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced the funding today, which will be provided over two years to help community mental health providers deliver tailored psychosocial supports to people with a severe mental illness who are either not eligible for the NDIS or yet to transition to the scheme.
The NDIS is one of the most significant reforms in Australia’s history – but the Federal Liberal Government’s version is not what was promised to over 105,000 Victorians. Of the 4,400 participants with psychosocial disability with approved plans, only 1,800 plans have been activated.
If Scott Morrison is serious about making the NDIS his priority, he needs to fix the plans, set a fair and realistic price for services, lift the staff cap for the National Disability Insurance Agency, and work with the states and disability organisations to deliver the NDIS that was promised.
As part of the funding package, the Labor Government will provide $50 million to community mental health organisations to deliver a new service and provide job security for hundreds of mental health staff.
It will enable community mental health organisations to retain these workers and their expertise, while ensuring clients with a significant, enduring psychosocial disability receive the support they need while their NDIS plan is developed.
Public health services across the Victoria will be funded to deliver the initiative in partnership with state funded community-managed mental health provider with the services are expected to start early next year.
The Minister for Mental Health will also work with key stakeholders on this issue, while continuing to advocate to the Commonwealth for a dedicated psychosocial gateway.
Disability and community mental health agencies will also be able to access an additional $20 million in grants to help them adapt their business model and respond to the new challenges raised by the transition to NDIS.
The funding announced today comes on top of more than $1.7 billion invested by the Labor Government to improve services and support for Victorians with mental illness since 2014.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“We’re stepping in so people with a mental illness don’t fall through the cracks left by the Federal Liberal Government’s mishandling of the NDIS rollout.”
“We won’t sit by and watch Scott Morrison and his government put Victorians on sub-standard plans or abandon them altogether.”
“We’re giving Victorians with a disability or severe mental illness the support they need, and investing in the hundreds of valued, dedicated workers in the community mental health sector that care for them.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020