TAMHSS Responds to Budget: Budget increase, welcome but let’s see the reality

We welcome the extra investment in mental health announced in the Budget last night.  This extra funding has been allocated as set out in the following table.  This new injection of funding reportedly takes mental health from 7% to 8% of the health budget.  This is a real improvement but it does not take mental health’s share to 12% by 2012. 

 We do wonder how the mental health commission will work with only approximately $2mil per year allocated for the next 4 years.  We want a great deal more independence for the Mental Health Commission.  We don’t want the Commission to be a select club chaired by the Minister for Mental Health that reports to the Prime Minister but with no real authority or funding to make a difference and to improve the lives of people with lived experience of mental health problems. 

We do want to be reassured that new and redesigned programs will work seamlessly together and that States and Territories will work co-operatively with the Commonwealth towards the best interests of the people that they set out to serve. 

More to come on the National Mental Health Reforms, but in the meantime, here is the mental health budget-at-a-glance.   

Taken from 2011-2012 Budget-at-a-Glance published by the Australian Government 10 May 11. Millions Over 4yrs 5th yr
     
National Mental Health Reform – coordinated care and flexible funding for people with severe and persistent mental illness 196.8 146.9
National Mental Health Reform – National Partnership Agreement on Mental Health 155.3 46.0
National Mental Health Reform – expansion of Access to Allied Psychological 

Services

144.0 61.9
National Mental Health Reform – Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre 

model – further expansion

141.6 80.8
National Mental Health Reform – expansion of youth mental health 132.3 65.0
National Mental Health Reform – expansion of Support for Day to Day Living in the Community program 15.0 4.2
National Mental Health Reform – establishment of a single mental health online portal 11.1 3.3
National Mental Health Reform – health and wellbeing checks for three year olds 9.9 1.1
National Mental Health Reform – establishment of a National Mental Health Commission 9.6 2.5
National Mental Health Reform – research funding – – – – –    
National Mental Health Reform – leadership in mental health reform – continuation – – – – –    
National Mental Health Reform – Better Access Initiative – rationalisation of GP mental health services 306.9 98.9
National Mental Health Reform – Better Access Initiative – rationalisation of allied health treatment sessions 118.7 55.9
     
Total spend on mental health in first 4 years: 1,241.2  
Total spend on mental health in 5th year:   566.5
Total spend on mental health over 5 years:   1807.7
     
 
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