Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership
Mental Health Victoria welcomes the 2023/24 Victorian State Budget, and the additional $520 million it will invest into our mental health and wellbeing system.
Against the backdrop of a challenging fiscal environment, this Budget represents a commitment by the Government to provide stability in the sector while ongoing reforms continue to mature.
“We’re in a time of tremendous change and growth. These additional commitments enable the sector to keep delivering for Victorians whilst undergoing the transformative change set out in the Royal Commission’s final report,” said Marcelle Mogg, CEO of MHV.
MHV particularly welcomes confirmation of an additional year of funding for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, which were established during COVID-19 restrictions, and which have been servicing our communities ahead of the Locals roll out. 19 Hubs will continue to operate throughout 2023/24 whilst Locals procurement continues – a position for which MHV has long advocated.
“MHV is calling for a comprehensive approach to transition planning, as we move from legacy programs and establish new and diverse models of care across the sector. There is more to do to deliver on this promise, but there are some thoughtful decisions in this Budget which give us hope that the Government is listening and is prepared to work collaboratively with the sector in the challenges ahead.”
$41 million has been allocated over two years to improve access and equity of service provision. MHV understands that part of this will go towards targeted services provided by MHV members including Eating Disorders Victoria, Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia, and The Compassionate Friends Victoria.
$157 million will be spent to operationalise 72 new beds, across Royal Melbourne, Bendigo Health, Western Health and the Alfred, as well as continue the 24 current Hospital in the Home beds state-wide.
An additional $48 million will be invested into new entities, including $16.2 million into the establishment of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, and $8.5 million for the Victorian Collaborative Centre.
However, several key levers of reform remain untouched by this Budget, most notably workforce reforms and significant capital investments. The next iteration of the Mental Health Workforce Strategy may signal future investments, but without action on workforce development now, the Government will be hard-pressed to meet their own election commitment to double the mental health workforce by 2031.
“This Budget doesn’t diminish the challenges ahead, but it gives us a foundation from which to continue building the mental health and wellbeing system all Victorians deserve.”
For further information, contact Emma Greeney, Executive Director; Strategy, Policy and Advocacy at email@example.com.