THE State Government has allocated $36.4 million for more regional and rural mental health counsellors in New South Wales, as part of the 2021-22 Budget.
An additional 57 counsellors labelled as ‘Response and Recovery Specialists,’ will soon be available to provide ongoing support to individuals and their families at locations of their choosing, whether at home or in the local cafe.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the Response and Recovery Specialists would ensure quality services were available at all times.
“When the unprecedented drought and bushfires were crippling our state, these counsellors were there to support communities and now they’re on hand to help those affected by other disasters like the mice plague too,” Ms Taylor said.
“The best thing about these extra 57 mental health specialists is people don’t need to go to their GP to be referred. They can access them through the mental health line or other local services,” she said.
“What’s unique about these roles is that the people that undertake this work as counsellors are members of their communities and they can provide local insight, as well as a friendly soft entry to mental health support,” she said.
“This is particularly important for people who are so used to facing significant adversity that they may hesitate to seek help when they need it,” said Ms Taylor.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Budget allocation shows a continued commitment from New South Wales Government towards mental health services, after it included a record $2.4 billion in last year’s budget.
“We know families and people have been doing it tough in these areas, facing drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and now a mice plague and this package will offer continued mental health support to those in need,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We want to ensure people not only get help at the time of a disaster, but that it’s accessible during the recovery phase so communities can bounce back and people can rebuild lives,” he said.
Mental Health Services:
|NSW Mental Health Line:||1800 011 511|
|Lifeline:||13 11 14|
|Kids Helpline:||1800 55 1800|
|Suicide Call Back Services:||1300 659 467|
|Beyond Blue:||1300 22 46 36|
Federal Government Regional Mental Health 2021-22 Budget snapshot:
- $2.3 billion, the largest single mental health and suicide prevention investment in Australia’s history.
- Five priority areas which form the first phase of the Government’s response to the PC Report.
- Prevention and early intervention $248.6million;
- Suicide Prevention $298.1million;
- Treatment $1.4billion including eight new Head to Health Adult Mental Health Centres and 24 satellite centres ($487.2million) and expanding headspace with ten new centres and five satellite centres ($278.6m);
- Support for the Vulnerable $107million including $79million for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention;
- Workforce and Governance $202million including $58.8million to boost the number of psychiatrists, nurses psychologists and allied health practitioners in mental health settings, $15.9m to support GPs to upskill and provide primary mental health care.