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Salvos applaud Vic mental health funding announcement

The Salvation Army is very pleased to hear the Victorian Government announce a $70 million investment in community mental health services to ensure that people who don’t qualify for the NDIS continue to get the help they need.

Community mental health services are a vital support for people with psychosocial disabilities. They play a critical function in the overall mental health system by supporting people to remain in the community and avoid expensive and traumatic stays in hospital emergency and psychiatric wards.

Funding for community mental health services in Victoria has been progressively discontinued as the NDIS rolls out across the state. However, Salvation Army services in the Barwon NDIS trial saw that the vast majority of people utilising community mental health services did not qualify for the NDIS. As local funding transitioned to the NDIS, the closure of community mental health services in the Barwon area created a significant gap in the mental health system. As this gap grew, many people who were previously stable became very unwell, increasing the incidence of hospitalisations and homelessness.

This experience prompted The Salvation Army to join with other advocates in the sector to call on the Victorian Government to properly fund these services, so that thousands of Victorians were not left out in the cold. The funding announced today will help secure the work of the sector for the next two years, as well as retain jobs for many highly skilled and experienced mental health workers.

The Salvation Army commends the Andrews Government for listening and taking action in this vital area.