A damning report from the Auditor-General has confirmed Victoria’s mental health system is in crisis. The report emphasized the lack of action and investment from the Andrews Labor Government, saying not enough was being done 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
Comment attributable to Emma Kealy, Shadow Minister for Mental Health
“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.
“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 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.
“There are steps that Daniel Andrews can take now, as recommended by the Auditor General, to better support Victoria’s most vulnerable and fix this broken system.
VAGO: March 2019 - Access to Mental Health Services report, Page 8
“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”.