Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic has welcomed additional funding of $106.4 million for community mental health services announced in today’s State Budget.
Mr Frkovic said the expenditure would bolster the public community mental health sector, which provided a range of vital treatment and support services within the community.
“Community mental health services are an essential part of the mental health system of care, as they take pressure off acute inpatient services and support people to maintain tenure in the community.
“They provide varying levels of intensity in treatment and support ranging from acute care, mobile intensive treatment and continuing care to individuals living in the community with mental illness, and their families and carers.”
Mr Frkovic said investment in community mental health was particularly important given the shift to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the potential that a considerable proportion of people with mental illness may not qualify for support through the scheme.
He said: “This additional funding will have a major impact if it is a combination of community based public sector clinical treatment and support services, and psychosocial support services provided by the non-government sector.
Mr Frkovic also welcomed the budget commitments in relation to a range of bed-based services including the $14.3 million for a 42-bed Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Rockhampton and the $28.1 million for an Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility.
Mr Frkovic also welcomed the Our Future State – Advancing Queensland Priorities which provides a policy context and strong scaffolding for progressing some of the proposed priorities of a renewed Queensland Strategic Plan for Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs.
These include: giving all our children a great start; keeping Queenslanders healthy, particularly the focus on Suicide Prevention; and creating jobs.
Mr Frkovic said the $20 million over four years for the First 5 Forever program, focused on the essential early years of growth and development.
“Research conclusively shows that by giving young Queenslanders the best start in life, we are preventing mental illness in later years and setting them up for success as adults.
Mr Frkovic said he looked forward to supporting the State Government in all these areas, to ensure that people with mental illness can benefit, particularly in relation to developing a clear plan for reducing the rate of suicides in Queensland.