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Delivering our mental health and wellbeing plan to secure Tasmania’s future

26 August 2021

Jeremy Rockliff MP

Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Tasmanian Government is taking a best-practice approach to building a contemporary, integrated model of mental health care so people can get more holistic support, in the right place, at the right time.

Our successful Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) will now become permanent, with $2.1 million in additional funding over four years enabling this crucial program to continue to support vulnerable Tasmanians.

The initial trial program provided clinical and psychosocial rehabilitation supports linked with stable housing and supported accommodation. It is based on a successful program in New South Wales, which found when housing was linked to appropriate clinical and rehabilitation support, people were better able to overcome the often debilitating effects of mental illness and live more independently.

Twenty-eight clients have been supported through our two-year pilot program, which is a partnership between the Tasmanian Health Service, Housing Tasmania and Colony 47.

The Budget also includes $41.2 million to fully fund the Government’s response to phases one and two of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Review report and recommendations.

The reforms will support changes to the way CAMHS responds to demand, acknowledging the need to respond to children and young people who have the most complex and challenging mental health presentations.

Changing models of care will enable CAMHS to realign services so they can build stronger partnerships and linkages with other services and Government agencies, ensuring the best possible support and outcomes for young Tasmanians facing mental health challenges.

Additional funding of $8.8 million has also been provided in the Budget to continue the broader rollout of the Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program across the State.

The 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget will see a Mental Health Hospital in the Home pilot in the North-West, with $8.5 million over two years to enable people who may have otherwise been hospitalised to receive intensive, short-term support in their own home. This is based on our existing, and successful southern service, which enables patients to be treated more appropriately and comfortably at home, rather than in an acute hospital setting.

An Emergency Mental Health Co-Response Team will be introduced by the end of the year in southern Tasmania, with $5.1 million over two years to pilot this innovative model, which will see mental health clinicians travel with police and ambulance officers to attend mental health-specific Triple Zero calls. This will mean patients will get faster access to mental health services, while reducing avoidable hospital admissions.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to continuing to increase access to services for alcohol and drug addiction, which is why we’re investing $10 million into treatment services. This funding will support 65 residential rehabilitation beds; the peak body the Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council for a Reform Agenda project officer; and other community based organisations, including the Drug Education Network, Holyoake Gottawana program, Alcohol and Drug Foundation, and the Salvation Army’s Friday and Saturday night Street Teams.

We are also focused on promoting good health by prioritising ill-health prevention, early intervention and empowering Tasmanians to improve their own health and wellbeing, with $20 million in the Budget. This includes:

  • $4.5 million to trial three Tasmanian Community Health and Wellbeing Networks at Ulverstone, Huonville and Scottsdale;
  • An additional $4 million for the next iteration of the Healthy Tasmania Strategic Plan, taking our total investment over five years to $10 million;
  • $8 million for the Healthy Tasmania Fund grants program;
  • $1 million for the Youth Smoking Prevention Package to target young smokers before they light up for the first time;
  • $1 million for the 24 Carrot Garden project to expand its kitchen garden program to more Tasmanian schools;
  • $400,000 for the Heart Foundation Walking program; and
  • $800,000 for the Diabetes Tasmania COACH program.

Our strong plan for holistic, integrated mental health and wellbeing services is a vital part of our plan to secure Tasmania’s future.