Victorian budget: The College welcomes investment for more mental health nurses
Wednesday 4 May 2022
The 2022/23 Victorian budget allocates $1.3bn to reform the state’s mental health system, including funding new mental health nurse positions. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) welcomes the investment, and encourages other governments to follow their lead.
Victoria’s new budget is set to create 400 new mental health nursing positions and over a 1000 undergraduate nursing positions per year over the next two years.
“The ACMHN is delighted to see an emphasis on bolstering the numbers of suitably skilled and qualified mental health nurses. It shows that Victoria’s government values their contribution to the state’s mental health care system,” ACMHN CEO Stephen Jackson said.
The budget also provides an additional 82 inpatient beds, new mental health hubs located within emergency departments, increased community mental health services, and introduces new group-based parenting centres. In addition, there will be new funding for perinatal community services, new eating disorder services, additional alcohol and other drug residential services, and funding for youth services to expand further in regional areas.
“We’re pleased that in many of these services, we’ll see more mental health nurses where they are supposed to be – at the forefront of identifying mental health needs, preventing mental health deterioration and supporting the mental health of Victorians,” Mr Jackson said.
Furthermore, the spend includes new initiatives based on successful pilots arising from the National Suicide Plans to establish Social Inclusion Action groups in ten local government areas. There is an additional $21 million package to support suicide prevention initiatives and an extra $3.5 million to enable Aboriginal communities to co-design suicide prevention initiatives. The budget incorporates an allocation of $29.3 million to support implementation of the brand-new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, a core foundation for enabling these changes for better inclusive mental health care and treatment.
“We see a plethora of opportunities for mental health nurses to get actively involved to improve the variety of systems that people will seek to access, and acknowledge the Victorian government in the steps they are taking to improve Victoria’s mental health care system. We hope other state governments will follow this leadership by the Victoria government,” ACMHN Vice-President Monica Taylor said.
“We look forward to working with the Victorian government to continue to ensure qualified mental health nurses are able to contribute and lead to provide the best mental health care.”
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