Mental Health Reforms Welcome

Mental Health Reforms Welcome

The NSW Government today committed to a once-in-a-generation overhaul of mental health care service delivery, which will increase mental health care funding by $115 million over the next three years.

The reforms come in response to the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s Strategic Plan for Mental Health. The Plan was developed over two years to provide a new framework for the delivery of mental health services.

Local Nationals MP, Leslie Williams commended the government’s reforms claiming they will be of major benefit to people throughout the Port Macquarie electorate living with mental illness and their carers.

“Approximately one in five individuals will experience a mental illness in their life so these reforms are welcomed by our local community,” Mrs Williams said.

“These reforms add to the already record investment by the NSW Government into mental health, investment which is making a real difference for local people living with mental illness.”

The NSW Government has accepted all actions outlined in the Commission’s plan, which includes:

· Strengthening prevention and early intervention - with a stronger focus on services for children and young people;

· A greater focus on community based care - including a better balance of community and acute services. In recognition of everyone’s right to live in the community, patients receiving long term hospital care will also be assisted to transition into safe and secure community based care, wherever possible.

· Developing a more responsive system - through improved specialist services for people with complex needs such as personality disorders;

· Working together to deliver person-centred care - including better integration between mental health services, mainstream health, justice and human services, and Commonwealth funded services; and,

· Building a better system – including by developing the mental health workforce, increasing NGO capacity to deliver services for government.

Mrs Williams said the reforms will boost the capabilities of local mental health providers in our area, so they can help meet the need for mental health care that exists in the community.

“People have a better chance at recovery if they’re able to access the care they need in the community. That’s why we’re committed to partnering with community-based providers to improve access to services, and deliver better outcomes.

“I reassure the community that mental health and the need for increased services and support in the Port Macquarie electorate is at the top of my mind, and I make no apology for continuing to be relentless in my advocacy for improved support and services,” Mrs Williams said.

“Last week I took the opportunity to further raise my concerns with the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner for the need for additional acute mental health beds at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

“The Mental Health Commission’s Plan is a roadmap for a decade-long shift toward reform and I’m confident the measures outlined today will go a long way in addressing the needs of people throughout our community touched by mental illness,” Mrs Williams said.

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