Improving our health system is a key priority of the Hodgman Liberal Government. I am very pleased to announce that the upcoming state Budget will contain more than $16 million in additional funding for the mental health sector, over and above the $11.7 million additional investment in mental health in previous Hodgman Liberal Budgets.

This new funding will be used for important community-sector services, including:

• $11.4 million for packages of care of vulnerable Tasmanians with mental illness.

• $2.2 million for mental health outreach services in rural Tasmania, with $1.7 million going to Rural Alive and Well to provide this service for the next three years.

• $1.8 million over three years to continue early intervention and referral services to help prevent suicide.

• $525 000 to continue grassroots mental health support and community participation for people with mental health issues and extended advocacy services, for mental health and disability clients, after current funding runs out next year.

The mental health packages of care are statewide and cover at risk children and youth, adults with complex needs and adults with severe and persistent mental illness, and were previously funded by the Australian Government.

These important services support vulnerable Tasmanians to live in their communities, which improves their overall social and emotional well-being and keeps more hospital beds available for other unwell Tasmanians.

Ensuring all Tasmanians have access to mental health services is just another way we are Building Tasmania’s Future by caring for our most important asset, our people.

The Hodgman Government understands the impact of mental health issues on the individual, their family and community, and continued funding of important services will go some way to helping at this difficult point in their life.

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