Mental health nurses gain in Victoria’s budget

Friday 21 May 2021

The Victorian Government released its budget yesterday featuring a $3.8 billion spend to prop up the
state’s mental health care system and highlighting the role of mental health nurses in rebuilding it.

“It is especially pleasing to see the importance the Victorian Government has placed on expanding and developing the mental health nursing workforce as part of the plan to rebuild mental health services,” Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACHMN) President Mike Hazelton said.

“Mental health nurses (MHNs) in Victoria and throughout the country will be delighted with the Victorian Government's commitment to rebuilding that state's mental health system as evidenced in the very substantial investments in mental health in the state budget.”

Coming soon after the Federal Government's recent substantial budget investment in mental health, the College welcomed the news from Victoria.

“It is to be hoped that the other states and territories will now come forward with similar commitments to improve services for people with mental illness and their families and carers,” Dr Hazelton said.

Within the extensive list of budget allocations for mental health, the College was particularly delighted to see:

  • $206 million for training and scholarships, including expansion of the mental health nursing workforce with ongoing funding for 120 annual graduate places for nurses and 140 postgraduate mental health places,
  • $370 million to improve access to mental health beds and better acute care for Victorians living with mental illness,
  • $38 million for alcohol and other drug services to build and open new residential rehabilitation beds, and boost community-based treatment services,
  • $196 million to support a dedicated system for infants, children and families,
  • $116.1 million to support Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing,
  • $11 million to deliver a Rural and Regional Workforce Incentive Scheme, attracting, training, and recruiting more mental health professionals to our regional communities.

“For me, these are standouts that mark the Victorian Government's commitment to rebuild that state' s mental health system in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission,” Dr Hazelton said. 

“The ACMHN looks forward to working collaboratively with the Victorian Government and other stakeholders in implementing these very important mental health reforms.

For further comment, please contact ACMHN President, Dr Mike Hazelton on 0448 121 012 or at


Australian College of Mental Health Nurses press release, mental health nursing, mental health policy Australia, Victoria budget 2021

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