22nd March 2019
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) and Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) welcome the announcement by the Commonwealth Government to provide a much-needed extension to the funding of community mental health programs, which equates to $121M for 12 months to support approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people with living with severe and persistent mental health issues.
Three Commonwealth Programs, Partners in Recovery (PIR), Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) and Support for Day to Day Living (D2DL) are currently providing much needed support to these people.
Bill Gye, General Manager of CMHA said “A number of clients supported by these programs have transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), but a significant number have not and many, for various reasons, will not.”
“The impending end of the funding was causing great angst for many people and their families currently being assisted by these programs, so the announcement of this bridge funding is extremely welcome”.
This funding provides a continuation to those organisations providing these vital supports and services to some of our most vulnerable members of our community.
In addition to two previously announced amounts of funding (a commitment of $80 million over four years for the National Psychosocial Support Measure and $109.8 million over three years for Continuity of Support) for any community mental health clients found ineligible for the NDIS, this funding is being channelled through and managed by the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia.
People experiencing mental illness will now have some level of certainly that their supports will continue for the next 12 months, while supporting their transition to the NDIS.
However, QAMH remains concerned for those people who are not eligible for the NDIS.
Acting CEO Jacklyn Whybrow said this funding announcement today is something the sector has been eagerly awaiting.
“As part of the Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), we have worked tirelessly with the Federal Government to highlight our concerns and the needs of the people accessing these services,” Ms Whybrow said.
“While the announcement of additional funding helps, we must remember the uniqueness of Queensland remote and regional communities and the needs of the people living in these regions.”
We look forward to further announcements from the Federal Government concerning the distribution of this additional funding.
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