The Hodgman Liberal Government has committed an additional $2.4 million over four years for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to address an historical underresourcing of this important area.

Since being elected we have demonstrated our commitment to maintaining fiscal discipline so we can address long-term service gaps in essential services like this one, knowingly under-resourced by the previous Labor-Green government for years.

The $2.4 million boost will help to address long-standing under resourcing and improve outcomes for young Tasmanian with serious mental illness, and will included enhanced resourcing for:

  • services for perinatal, infant and early childhood mental health to support at risk families and infants;
  • addressing the needs of primary age children with severe emotional and conduct disorders;
  • multi-systemic mobile youth outreach interventions to ‘at risk’ teenagers, bringing together CAMHS, education, child protection, youth justice and drug and alcohol services to meet the complex needs of young people at risk of major mental illness, suicide, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, criminal activity, substance use and homelessness;
  • to provide consultation, liaison, education and training to service providers across the child and adolescent sector and greater support to key stakeholder groups.

It will increase the capacity of CAMHS to provide greater access to young people who need our help.

The new funding is in addition to $200 000 per annum allocated earlier in 2014-15 by the Hodgman Liberal Government and will help meet demand for the service, particularly at Clare House in the South, where demand has consistently outstripped the available resources for a number of years.

In addition to this new funding, the exposure draft of the White Paper on health reform proposes a significant increase in CAMHS services at the Launceston General Hospital, increasing from a level three to a level five service to provide new inpatient services for children and adolescents across the North and North-West.

We know there will be significant efficiencies gained through the One Health System reforms,including up to $21 million through merging three THOs into a single Tasmanian Health Service. These savings will be reinvested in areas like the CAMHS service at the LGH where the service will be enhanced and it has been identified that more resources are required to support service changes.

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