Local residents with severe and persistent mental illness will benefit from $472.7 million provided to organisations in Medicare Local regions for coordinated and flexibly funded support across the nation.
The ACT will receive $8.6 million to coordinate a variety of services delivered through a consortium of local members, and auspiced via the ACT Medicare Local. This important funding will ensure better support to Canberrans facing severe and persistent mental illness.
ACT representatives Senator Kate Lundy, Gai Brodtmann MP and Andrew Leigh MP said people living with long-term psychosis are 10 times more likely to be homeless, 50 per cent less likely to have completed school, overwhelmingly likely to be living on income support, and have a life expectancy that lags the national average by up to 30 years.
For the first time in our region, there will be strong links across different sectors, services and supports under the Partners in Recovery (PIR) initiative, to better meet the needs of local vulnerable people.
The PIR initiative is a key plank of the Labor Government’s $2.2 billion mental health reform package targeted at 24,000 of Australia's most vulnerable people.
Partnerships generally ranging from six to 14 with some as large as 22 members will collaborate on complex issues connected to mental health such as drugs and alcohol, housing, homelessness, employment, education, emergency services, and hospital emergency departments.
During a three-month establishment period, lead agencies will work with partners in each region to build local organisational and workforce capacity and networking expertise.
The success of PIR will be underpinned by the partnerships that are being developed and strengthened between services and supports across different sectors. Partnerships will form the critical backbone of this initiative.
To support the implementation of PIR, the inaugural national workshop for PIR organisations will be held in Melbourne on 27 and 28 June 2013, to commence discussions around important implementation issues.
The Department of Health and Ageing is working with applicants in the remaining Medicare Local regions to be progressed in Stage 2 in 2013-14 financial year.