Budget boosts mental health investment to record levels

  • McGowan Government is getting on with the job of delivering its election commitments
  • More acute mental health beds, new services in the Kimberley and funds to establish a Recovery College model through State Budget investment
  • Budget includes an extra $42.5 million towards the Methamphetamine Action Plan to provide increased support, education, prevention and harm reduction initiatives
  • Mental Health Commission to provide $942.1 million worth of mental health and alcohol and other drug prevention, treatment, support and services for Western Australians 
  • The McGowan Labor Government’s 2019-20 State Budget will deliver a record $942.1 million investment to mental health, alcohol and other drug services in 2019-20. This is expected to grow to over a billion dollars by 2022-23, representing an increase of $100.5 million compared to 2018-19, improving access and availability of mental health services.

    The State Budget includes a $93.8 million boost for mental health services provided by the public health system by 2022-23, and the extra initiatives are in line with recommendations of the Sustainable Health Review.

    More mental health initiatives with a focus on support, education, prevention and harm reduction funded in the 2019-20 State Budget include:

    • $20.1 million towards the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program;
    • $15.6 million for a new 20-bed secure mental health unit at Fremantle Hospital – the second secure unit is expected to open in 2022 and will boost the total mental health beds on site to 84;
    • $9.2 million towards the development of a comprehensive alcohol and other drug youth service in the Kimberley – fulfilling an election commitment;
    • $8.9 million for the continuation of the Mental Health Court Diversion Program;
    • $8.1 million for suicide prevention programs;
    • $4.8 million to establish a 10-bed crisis centre in Midland;
    • $3 million of additional funding for comprehensive planning to decommission Graylands Hospital and reconfigure mental health services to reflect contemporary and more appropriate models of care;
    • $2.3 million for four low medical withdrawal beds in the Kimberley;
    • $1.05 million for alcohol and other drug education programs in schools with a focus on at-risk students;
    • $914,000 for alcohol and other drug training for Aboriginal workers through the Strong Spirit Strong Mind program;
    • $614,000 towards alcohol and other drug training for frontline workers such as psychologists, social workers and counsellors;
    • $457,000 for the Meth Peer Education Program which focuses on harm reduction and health promotion;
    • $200,000 to plan for the expansion of the award-winning Mental Health Police Co-Response model to regional areas and to include support for alcohol and other drug issues; and
    • $200,000 to plan for short-term safe places for compulsory critical intervention. 

    The McGowan Government is investing $3.6 million towards the establishment of Recovery Colleges, an election commitment, to support individuals in self-directed recovery from mental health and alcohol related issues.

    The proposed Recovery College model has shown positive results in the United Kingdom and will operate using a hub and satellite design, with a central hub in Perth and satellites located across regional Western Australia.

    The McGowan Government continues to increase mental health services in the community and across regional Western Australia, and is investing more than $22.4 million in capital funding over the next three years to establish community mental health step up/step down services.

    This funding is in addition to almost $6 million in 2018-19 provided for the existing step up/step down services in Joondalup (22 beds), Rockingham (10 beds) and Albany (six beds).

    Community mental health step up/step down services are being established across Western Australia to support people living in the community. The service provides a range of support programs and activities within a residential style setting by offering additional support for the individual to manage a change in their mental health, and being closer to the support from family and friends.

    Planned community mental health step up/step down services include:

    • A 10-bed Bunbury service expected to open early next year;
    • A 10-bed Kalgoorlie service expected to open next year;
    • A six-bed service in Broome which is being progressed; and
    • A six-bed service in Karratha which is being progressed. 

    For more 2019-20 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

    As stated by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “The McGowan Government is committed to investing in mental health services to provide Western Australians with better access to care, closer to where they live.

    “The new and expanded mental health services will provide additional services for those needing mental health treatment and support.

    “We are working hard to address the significant pressures on mental health services in Western Australia, and the McGowan Government’s investment will assist.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.