The Victorian Government will invest $868.6 million to help reform the state's mental health system.

The Victorian Budget 2020-21, handed down this week, provides funding for mental health services and programs across the state.

The funding will help Mental Health Reform Victoria and our partners deliver key initiatives recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.

It includes:

  • $492 million to build 120 more acute mental health beds in Geelong, Epping, Sunshine and Melbourne
  • $18.9 million for 35 acute beds for public mental health patients in a private health service
  • $21.4 million for state-wide expansion of the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) service
  • $16 million to support Victorians with lived experience of mental illness to use their personal expertise to improve our mental health system through the provision of training and employment pathways
  • $7.7 million to address workforce shortages in the mental health sector and support future expansion of the workforce
  • $4.4 million to continue support for Aboriginal wellbeing programs and start design work for a new Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre
  • $2.2 million to help design the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Budget 2020-21 includes funding for mental health initiatives beyond the Royal Commission's current recommendations.

A special Bushfire Mental Health Package will support communities affected by last summer's fires. This includes funding for extra school psychologists and social workers and to establish a trauma recovery team.

The Budget also includes $152 million for services in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Budget highlights for mental health include funding for:

  • early intervention programs for young people
  • mental health and wellbeing support for asylum seekers
  • support for mental health clinicians and services at the Victorian Fixed Threat Assessment Centre
  • upgrade of state-owned facilities.

Read the Budget Papers at https://www.budget.vic.gov.au/budget-papers