Local mental health nursing services will be boosted with the announcement today of an extra $2 million in Commonwealth funding.
South East Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) – which covers the Mornington Peninsula, Western Port, Casey and Cardinia – will receive a total of $2.023 million to commission mental health nursing services to meet local needs.
Meeting with mental health nurses at Rye to discuss the new funding, Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the funding would help local nurses fully engage with the Turnbull Government’s mental health reforms.
“Australia’s mental health nurses are on the frontline of our health care system, which is why I am determined to support this vital service,” Minister Hunt said.
He said historically, funding for mental health nursing services was subject to significant variation across Australia but from July 1 funding would be distributed on a nationally equitable basis.
In Victoria four regions who have been significantly impacted by the redistribution of funding will receive top-up funding for the coming year, to help them transition mental health nurses to the new stepped care system at the heart of the mental health reforms.
A total of $7.7 million will be made available to four Primary Health Networks: South Eastern Melbourne; Eastern Melbourne; Murray; and Western Victoria.
“Mental health services require a sensitive, tailored approach based on individual needs and that is exactly what these mental health nurses are delivering,” Minister Hunt said.
“Our Primary Health Networks are responsible for planning and commissioning regionally appropriate, locally-based mental health and suicide prevention services.
“This regional approach led by PHNs will focus on local solutions for local needs and will incorporate a range of mental health services, including mental health nurses.
“I am committed to ensuring mental health services are available where and when people need assistance, and delivered in the most appropriate way.”