OPINION – Developing a dedicated funding source for mental health is a promising and crucial first step to transforming Queensland’s mental health sector, according to the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health. However, QAMH CEO Jennifer Black said the State Government must ensure the funds are used to build community-based preventative services and alternatives to Emergency Departments.
“Setting up a dedicated funding source for mental health in Queensland is to be commended,” Ms Black said.
“However, it is important to focus on prevention and early intervention.
“We need services that support people early in their distress, in their communities, that help prevent their distress becoming a crisis.”
The 2022-2023 State Budget includes a levy on large employers with wages over $10 million, which is expected to raise $1.6 billion over the next five years. That equates to increased funding for mental health of roughly $300 million a year.
Funding Boost Long Overdue
“Given Queensland had the lowest per capita funding for mental health in the nation in 2019-20 and has been chronically under-funded, this funding boost is long overdue,” Ms Black said, adding that it is not yet clear which mental health services will benefit and by how much.
“There are a lot of priorities listed by the Government, such as community managed services, perinatal care and eating disorders,” she said.
“But how much extra funding each of those areas will receive is not yet clear.”
The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health represents more than 100 Community Mental Health and Wellbeing services in the state. Tens of thousands of Queenslanders, who are experiencing mental health challenges, access these services for practical support.
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Chief Executive Officer
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health
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QAMH is the peak body for community-managed mental health organisations, representing more than 100 not-for-profit services that work with people experiencing mental health challenges.
QAMH CEO Jennifer Black is available for comment on community mental health and wellbeing matters.
Media contact: Emma Griffiths, QAMH Director – Advocacy and Communications
M: 0439 971 080