The focus for mental health in this budget is directed towards measures and initiatives that support young people and their mental health needs and attempting to increase access to early intervention initiatives across the country. The Mental Health Council of Tasmania is pleased to see that the intention of this budget is to allow the Primary Health Networks to fund some services that aim to support people to reduce the likelihood of an episode of mental ill-health developing into a more complex illness.
The balance of funding is slowly tipping the scales toward prevention and early intervention when in the past this was only a very small proportion of the overall mental health budget. Our concern is that putting so much of the funding to one or two national service providers will potentially limit the capacity and diversity within those care models. This should not be a one-size-fits-all approach and will need to consider the Tasmanian context in order to be successful.
There is a significant amount of work to still be done in this area to look at more integrated and diverse models of care in keeping with the reforms identified within the Fifth National Mental Health Plan and the regional planning that is happening as we speak to assess service delivery across the nation.