The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget has allocated more than $1.5 billion to community‑based care, including $263.8 million to services that focus on early intervention and support for people experiencing mental illness or psychological distress.

The funding addresses a challenge that was frequently identified during the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. That is, that many people do not know how, when and where to seek help. 

This means that far too often people do not receive the mental health support they need until they are in serious distress. 

The funding will deliver the first 20 of up to 60 Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing services across Victoria.  

These services will provide easy to access to support and treatment for people aged 26 and over who are experiencing a mental illness or psychological distress.  

They will focus on early intervention and ensuring people can receive support in their local community.

The services will be a friendly and accessible ‘front door’ to the mental health system, connecting people to the services that will best support their recovery. 

The first six of these 20 sites have already been confirmed:  

  • Benalla 
  • Brimbank 
  • Frankston 
  • Greater Geelong 
  • Latrobe Valley 
  • Whittlesea 

Three sites will open from mid-2022, with all six sites open by the end of 2022.   

The next 14 sites will be identified shortly, with priority going to areas with the greatest levels of unmet need.  

These new services will deliver on key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s health system. The Royal Commission’s Final Report had a strong focus on early intervention and ensuring people can access mental health and wellbeing support close to home, when they need it. 

Find out more about Budget outcomes, including those supporting early mental health intervention and care, on the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget website or visit the Health.Vic website for a summary of key mental health initiatives included in the Budget.