More support for those living with mental illness

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

The upcoming ACT Budget will provide greater support for Canberrans suffering with different levels of mental illness. This includes $22.8 million to establish 24-hour supported accommodation for people with complex mental health needs.

As our city grows, we are seeing increased demand for mental health services, from early intervention and prevention measures through to emergency and intensive support.

The Budget will feature funding to establish a number of supported accommodation facilities, providing 24-hour care for up to 15 people with complex, severe and persistent mental illness. As well as expanding the number of beds available for people with the highest needs, this Budget will also deliver a significant increase in funding for services that support Canberrans to manage their mental health and recovery. This includes funding to complete a Step-Up-Step-Down facility on the south side of Canberra to provide short term intensive and structured recovery care.

We will also invest in the refurbishment of the 10 bed Extended Care Unit at the Brian Hennessey Rehabilitation Centre so that there is an upgraded secure facility where mental health patients can gradually transition into supported accommodation.

These new investments will complement the mental health rehabilitation services soon to open at the University of Canberra Hospital, which include both an inpatient ward and an expanded day service for mental health consumers.

Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said this new investment in mental health accommodation and support services will significantly boost the frontline care Canberrans can access when they or their loved ones are in need of support.

“By investing $22.8 million in supported accommodation, we are delivering greater support both for people experiencing severe mental health episodes and those managing chronic conditions.

“Around one third of Canberrans will need mental health care at some stage in their lives. This means that our local services and facilities have to expand as our population grows so that people can access the right care when they need it,” Mr Rattenbury said.

This new investment in mental health care is just one of the ways the ACT Government is growing services for our growing city through the 2018 Budget.

 Key figures

The Government will provide $22.8 million over four years to provide accommodation to meet the needs of individuals with mental illness.  This funding comprises $12.2 million for infrastructure costs and a further $10.7 million to manage and run the facilities, including:

  • Establishing 24-hour supported accommodation for up to 15 individuals suffering from complex, severe and persistent mental illness with significant functional impairment and complex needs;
  • Building a new south side step-up-step-down facility;
  • Refurbishing the 10-bed Extended Care Unit at the Brian Hennessey Rehabilitation Centre to provide a secure facility for mental health patients to transition to supported accommodation or back into the community.