This is a summary of mental health investments committed by the NSW Government in the 2022 – 2023 Budget.
Mental Health Coordinating Council welcomes the $2.9 billion investment in mental health for 2022 – 2023 announced in the NSW Government’s Budget.
The initiatives we particularly highlight include the ongoing support for the Towards Zero Suicides initiatives that provide crisis care and support, build on local community resilience and improve systems and practices to reduce suicide in NSW.
We also welcome funding for the Head to Health hubs to support adults experiencing mental health challenges in the community.
We note that many of these initiatives form part of the bilateral agreement signed as part of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. Nevertheless, we reiterate our call to action to address the identified gaps in psychosocial support services, particularly for people unable to access these services through the NDIS.
A summary of the funding includes:
This funding, alongside Commonwealth contributions represents a welcome boost to the community sector.
Nevertheless, MHCC is disappointed that the ‘one-off’ $3000 health worker payment in recognition of the efforts of front-line work during the pandemic did not include workers from the non-government health sector and we call for this payment to be extended.
We also note that the Government has yet to realise its 2018 commitment to “enhance step-up step-down capacity in the community.”
It is vital that access to a state-wide ‘step-up-step-down’ service is established to ensure that people exiting hospital can safely transition back into the community, as well as have access to sub-acute services in the community as and when the need arises for more intense care.