The Andrews Labor Government today delivered on its election commitment to launch a 10 Year Mental Health Plan in its first year of office.
Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley released the plan, which outlines the government’s goals. The plan will help ensure that future investment is made in a coordinated, integrated way so that Victorians can access mental health services in the right place and at the right time.
Building on the plan’s priorities, the government will focus on:
- A whole-of-government suicide prevention framework
- An Aboriginal social and emotional well-being framework
- A mental health workforce strategy
- A comprehensive strategy to divert people with mental illness from the criminal justice system by strengthening pathways to early community treatment and support
The plan sets an ambitious, long-term vision for the next decade, including better mental health and wellbeing, reducing the prevalence of mental illness, reducing suicide rates and providing better access to and choice about services for people with a mental illness.
Thousands of Victorians have been involved in the plan’s development through an online consultation, including people with a mental illness, their families and carers, service providers, clinicians, workers, experts and community members. Each year, more than 1.2 million Victorians experience an episode of mental illness.
Recognising that nearly half of all Victorians (45 per cent) will experience mental illness in their lifetime, the plan focuses on greater efforts in prevention. It also outlines the Labor Government’s commitment to working directly with people with a mental illness, their families and carers to produce policy and improve services.
An expert taskforce will guide implementation of the plan and will be supported by four standing reference groups: lived-experience leadership, workforce, innovation and Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.
The Andrews Labor Government will deliver an annual report to Parliament to measure the progress of the goals.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to creating a healthier, fairer and more inclusive society.”
“Mental health depends on many factors. Social attitudes, employment opportunities, stable and affordable housing, resilient communities and healthy families all play a part. We must take a whole-of-community approach to achieve these goals.”
“We call on the Federal Government to reconsider its $1.8 billion cuts to Victoria’s mental health system over the next 10 years, which will increase the pain for many of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021