State Government Commits to Mental Health Sector


State Government Commits to Mental Health Sector

Following our joint SACOSS/MHCSA State Election Forum Mental Health Minister Peter Malinauskas announced a commitment to fund psychosocial services.
The Media Release explains the mental health guarantee which the Minister announced at the Forum.
The MHCSA contacted the Minister’s office seeking assurances that contracts and service agreements will be sent to the sector as soon as possible and we understand that there is no impediment to this.
It is also our understanding that we should be expecting a similar amount of funding for FY19 as for FY18 including the clauses relating to NDIS.
At this stage the Government is keen to ensure that funding continues at the same level until there is better understanding about what will happen with NDIS.
There is an understanding that the next steps could be complicated as they have heard arguments about how just reducing funding in accordance with people going onto NDIS is not going to work for some service types. At this stage we don’t know how or when the NDIS clauses might be implemented but the NDIS Transition Group’s discussions with the Department should be the vehicle to provide input and advice on this topic.
So whilst we are not out of the policy woods yet, it gives us more breathing space to prosecute our arguments about the impacts of any reduction in funding on the effectiveness of the state mental health system. This includes growing understanding of the context of Commonwealth intent to withdraw a huge amount of capacity of around $40m. We remain hopeful of achieving significant re-consideration regarding the South Australia approach to ensuring a high-functioning mental health system. This should also translate into the discussions regarding the relevant bilateral agreements and any joint Commonwealth and state responses.
We are asking the sector assistance in the next 12-18 months with helping us collate data that shows how the roll out is going will be vital to our ability to keep the relevant stakeholders informed and focused.
Thank you all for your work thus far. We are on the threshold of a significant turnaround from where we have been for the last few years. We would also like to thank the MHCSA Board and staff as this has been a long hard haul.
Geoff Harris

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