Australian College of Mental Health Nurses welcomes ACT government funding to hire more nurses

Thursday 23 September 2021

The ACT government is committing $50.1 million over four years to hire more than 90 nurses and midwives to support the territory’s health services. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) is pleased to hear about the investment and urges government to focus on hiring qualified mental health nurses for their public hospital mental health units.

The ACT government announced the spend as part of its 2021-2022 budget, set to be handed down on 6 October. It is part of the government’s plan for nurse and midwife ratios across the ACT’s healthcare system.

The minimum ratio for nurses or midwives to patients will depend on the clinical setting with the first phase to focus on general medical, general surgical, acute aged care and the adult mental health units.

ACMHN CEO Stephen Jackson said that the College welcomed the additional funding, and encouraged government to focus their hiring efforts for the adult mental health unit on qualified mental health nurses (MHNs).

“Credentialed Mental Health Nurses (CMHNs) have undergone a meticulous process and have proven that they fulfil the highest standard within the mental health nursing profession,” he said.

“As well as being registered nurses, they have completed postgraduate study in mental health nursing. They bring years of experience, and a vast, holistic skill set that will greatly benefit the ACT’s mental health care services.”

Mr Jackson added that the pressure on mental health services in Australia was only rising, and that more investment was needed to provide some relief for both people needing support as well as frontline healthcare staff.

“COVID-19 has been pushing people and frontline healthcare staff to the breaking point. We’re looking forward to working with the ACT government to get more qualified MHNs working in public hospitals to alleviate some of that pressure.”  

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ACT mental health nurses, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses press release, mental health policy Australia

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