The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s historic investment of $3.8 billion towards the mental health system.
APS President, Tamara Cavenett said the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health system was a sobering look at a broken system, but today’s Budget is brimming with possibility for genuine and transformational change.
“This is the single biggest investment in mental health of any Government in Australia,” said Ms Cavenett.
“We’re thrilled to see a strong focus on early intervention and prevention.”
“As psychologists we know that 50% of adult mental illness begins before 14 years of age, and 75% before the age of 25. The Government’s $842 million investment, including $41 million for three new multi-disciplinary community-based hubs are a vital step to prevent mental health issues continuing into adulthood.”
“What’s good for parents and families is also good for children. We welcome a strong investment in dedicated support for families and careers including improving access to perinatal services.”
“Public health measures during the pandemic including social distancing had a disproportionate impact on families during the perinatal period. This is a vulnerable time for families.”
“We’re also pleased to see $218 million for a School Mental Health Fund, however we’d like to see this expanded to a commitment of one school-based psychologist per 500 children.”
The APS also welcomes the investment of $206 million to build the mental health workforce.
“Growing the workforce, including the psychological workforce is critical. You can’t have a mental health system without psychologists working at their best, at multiple touch points,” said Cavenett.
“We’re also pleased to see $700 million in dedicated support for regional mental health services, as well as $11 million to deliver a Rural and Regional Workforce Incentive Scheme aimed at attracting, training and recruiting more mental health professionals to our country communities.”
“We look forward to working with the Andrews Government to ensure psychologists are a key makeup of this workforce.”