The ACT Government has recognized the mental health issues that people in Canberra have been facing over the past few years with a significant investment from the ACT budget in Canberra’s public health system and community services sector.
Through a funding partnership with the Commonwealth Government, further investment will be made in a range of support services, from acute mental health treatment to programs that support the wellbeing of Canberrans.
The $47 million investment program includes:
- $14.5 million over four years to strengthen Canberra’s community and health service responses for families and young children. These services include perinatal mental health screening, improvement of mental health and perinatal, infant and child (0-12) social and emotional well-being, expansion of the early intervention team for the childhood in the Gungahlin Child and Family Center and the creation of a mother-child dialectical behavior therapy service. .
- An expansion of mental health supports for young people who suffer or are at risk of suffering from mental health problems, suicide or self-harm.
- An expansion of suicide prevention programs to include follow-up care after discharge from hospital and greater postvention services to help those who have recently experienced a suicide attempt or a suicidal crisis.
- Implementing a territory-wide hospital avoidance strategy that will strengthen proactive community programs and reduce pressure on hospitals, which are seeing record numbers of mental health patients. This includes continued funding for the Acute Home Assessment Response Team, extended hours of operation for the mental health consultation liaison position at Calvary Hospital Emergency Room, implementation of a dialectical behavior therapy program for adults and the creation of a permanent homeless outreach team.
- An extension of the second Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response Team (PACER) for a further 12 months.
The past two years have been difficult for Canberrans, and the ACT budget ensures that Canberrans and their families can access the support they need to live well and stay engaged and connected with their communities.