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Victoria’s mental health system in crisis

A damning report from the Auditor-General has confirmed Victoria’s mental health system is in crisis. State Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish said the report shows the Andrews Labor Government has failed Victoria’s mental health system

“Victoria’s mental health system is in crisis, with the terrible situation of people who are critically unwell being turned away from care because the system simply doesn’t have capacity. That is having a particular impact on rural Victorians.”

“Our mental health system needs urgent attention and investment but sadly the Auditor-General’s report confirms that, despite numerous plans, in the past five years the Andrews Labor Government hasn’t lifted a finger to improve the system.

The report emphasized the lack of action and investment from the Andrews Labor Government, saying not enough was being done to address demands for mental health services.

Scathing criticisms in the report included: - Current State funding only provides mental health services to less than half of Victorians who suffer a severe mental illness - Victoria’s per capita recurrent spend on specialised mental health services was $197.30 – the lowest in Australia - A complete failure to monitor Victoria’s 10-year Mental Health Plan against the agreed deliverables - Funding for community mental health only provides up to 6 hours of care when the national recommended level is 72 hours Page 8 of the report confirmed that action needed to be taken immediately to support the system and that waiting for the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Mental Health would make problems worse:

“The Royal Commission into Mental Health will undoubtedly highlight many areas for improvement across the system. However, the need for planning and investment to meet demand is already known and as such, work to address this should not await the Commission’s recommendations. Further delay will only amplify the problems the Commission seeks to address.”

Ms McLeish concluded saying, “the Royal Commission into Mental Health is strongly supported by the Liberal Nationals, but we simply can’t wait for another report to tell us Victoria’s mental health system is in crisis. Daniel Andrews needs to act immediately to better support Victoria’s most vulnerable and fix this broken system.

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