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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    New $350 million mental health plan to connect care with recovery

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    New $350 million mental health plan to connect care with recovery

    The Palaszczuk Government has today unveiled a new $350 million plan to further strengthen its commitment to supporting Queenslanders living with mental health, alcohol and drug issues.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick today celebrated Queensland Mental Health Week by announcing Connecting Care to Recovery, a five-year plan to guide the government’s investment in mental health and alcohol and other drug services.

    “This new plan – funded by an additional $350 million over five years – aims to significantly increase funding to mental health after three years of LNP cuts drove Queensland's staffing and spending on mental health to the lowest in Australia,” he said.

    Mr Dick said the plan would be funded by an additional $350 million invested over five years to improve services for individuals, their families and the community.

    “We know that mental health issues affect one in five people in our community each year and will affect half of us at some stage in our lives,” he said.

    “Every Queenslander has a personal story to tell about mental health, whether it be their own story, or that of a family member, friend or colleague.

    “Many Queenslanders also experience problems with alcohol and other drugs and we know these problems affect not just them, but also those closest to them.

    “We all have a part to play to better prevent and address the impact of mental health, alcohol and drug issues in our community, and by rolling out this plan, our government is demonstrating our commitment to playing our role.”

    Mr Dick said the government will work collaboratively with Primary Health Networks, non-government and community organisations to reform and improve service delivery across five priority areas.

    These areas are:

    • Access to appropriate services as close to home as practicable and at the optimal time
    • Workforce development and optimisation of skills and scope
    • Better use of ICT to enhance clinical practice, information sharing and performance reporting
    • Early identification and intervention in response to suicide risk
    • Strengthening patients’ rights in accordance with the Mental Health Act 2016

    Mr Dick said the plan was focused on providing access to mental health and alcohol and other drug services across the continuum and in a variety of settings.

    “It will also expand the capacity and range of specialised, contemporary service options available to deliver responsive and individualised care,” he said.

    The plan includes initiatives such as:

    • Investing more than $87 million of new funding into services for children and young people, including $5.2 million to expand the Ed-LinQ program over five years to support more schools to better help students experiencing mental health issues
    • Growing investment in new areas of need, including mental health services helping indigenous Queenslanders, the LGBTIQ community and new mothers
    • Investing $43 million over five years towards alcohol and drug services provided by non-Government agencies
    • Investing $35 million over five years to grow the Court Liaison Service, particularly to provide treatment to individuals who have a mental illness who come before the Magistrates Court. This will support the implementation of the new Mental Health Act commencing in 2017.

    Queensland Alliance for Mental Health CEO Kris Trott commended the Minister for his commitment to working collaboratively across the service system and investing in community-managed mental health services.

    “The commitment to increase and improve in-reach to individuals admitted to bed-based services, among other initiatives, is an important step in providing adequate health services for Queenslanders,” Ms Trott said.

    “A move to more person-centred and recovery-oriented service delivery is a worthy investment.”

    Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA) CEO Rebecca Macbean welcomed the investment in additional alcohol and other drug services.

    “The impact of alcohol and other drugs requires a whole of community response, which is why it’s exciting for us to welcome a plan like this which is investing in non-government alcohol and other drug services,” she said.

    “We know these services are dealing with growing demand, and this additional investment, especially into vital services like counselling and residential rehabilitation, will make a real difference on the ground.”

    Mr Dick said the plan aligned with the direction and principles of the government’s 10-year vision for health, My health, Queensland’s future: Advancing Health 2026.

    “As a government, we are dedicated to fulfilling our goal of Queenslanders being among the healthiest people in the world by 2026, and mental health is a crucial determinant of an individual’s health and wellbeing,” he said.

    “That is why it is vital that we continue to invest in mental health and alcohol and drug services, and to build on our relationships with non-government and community organisations.

    “Working collaboratively right across the service system is the best way to provide the highest quality care to Queenslanders when and where they need it most, and this is what our government aims to achieve.”

    The plan is available here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/clinical-staff/mental-health/default.asp.

    If you or someone you know needs support you can phone 13 HEALTH, the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 177 833 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

    ENDS

    MEDIA CONTACT: Anika Hume 0439 253 815