In an ACT Government 2018 pre-Budget announcement, Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury today (22 May) has promised an additional $22.8 million over four years to provide accommodation for Canberrans struggling with mental health problems.
The funding amounts to $12.2 million for infrastructure costs and a further $10.7 million to manage and run the facilities which will include a new 24-hour service for up to 15 people with complex, severe and persistent mental illness.
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LIVE from Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre where Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury will officially announce $22.8 million for mental health accommodation and services in the 2018 Budget.
Posted by The RiotACT on Monday, 21 May 2018
Mr Rattenbury said the 2018 Budget would expand the number of beds available for people with the highest needs and will deliver a significant increase in funding for services to support mental health and recovery.
“This Budget will deliver a significant increase in funding for services that support Canberrans to manage their mental health and recovery and include funding to complete a Step-Up-Step-Down facility on the south side of Canberra to provide short-term intensive and structured recovery care,” Mr Rattenbury said.
Mr Rattenbury said the four-year funding would also aim to refurbish the 10-bed extended care unit at the Brian Hennessey Rehabilitation Centre in Bruce to provide an upgraded secure facility so patients can gradually transition into supported accommodation.
“These new investments will complement the mental health rehabilitation services soon to open at the University of Canberra Hospital, which include both an inpatient ward and an expanded day service for mental health consumers,” he said.
Mr Rattenbury said the investment in mental health accommodation and support services would significantly boost the frontline care Canberrans can access when they, or their loved ones, are in need of support.
“Around one-third of Canberrans will need mental health care at some stage in their lives. This means that our local services and facilities have to expand as our population grows so that people can access the right care when they need it,” he said.
“As our city grows, we are seeing increased demand for mental health services, from early intervention and prevention measures, through to emergency and intensive support.
“By investing $22.8 million in supported accommodation, we are delivering greater support, both for people experiencing severe mental health episodes, and those managing chronic conditions.”