Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has allocated A$111.8m ($74.4m) to bolster community mental health services.  

Of the total funding, A$30.4m will be channelled into expanding Community Mental Health Teams in targeted areas, including regional NSW, over the next four years.  

These teams, operating within speciality health networks and local health districts, will help individuals suffering from persistent/complex mental health issues. 

The investment will facilitate addition of 35 mental health positions, enhancing community outreach, enabling more comprehensive case management and allowing for extended service hours. 

It will also improve access to specialist psychological services, coordination of care, and family involvement in care. 

Among the new positions, five outreach mental health housing liaison roles will be created to collaborate with Department of Communities and Justice, while St Vincent’s Health network will benefit from five new workers to form an assertive adult community mental health team.  

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These positions aim to connect individuals at risk of/or experiencing homelessness, who are accessing mental health services, to housing and support them in maintaining their tenancies. 

Additionally, A$40m is earmarked for Pathways to Community Living Initiative, which promotes alternatives to long-term hospital care for people with persistent mental illness.  

Over four years, this initiative will finance a complex care clinical workforce of over 25 professionals to assist patients. 

In addition, A$39m over four years will go towards creating a Mental Health Single Front Door to strengthen mental health services.  

Delivered through Healthdirect, the effort currently provides virtual KIDS/GP and Urgent Care Services. The additional funding will expand this service, enabling specialist clinicians to directly provide help to those seeking mental health advice. 

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said: “We have seen firsthand success of NSW Single Front Door model delivered via Healthdirect. The development of a Mental Health Single Front Door is a common sense decision to ensure expert mental health support is available to those who need it.” 

Furthermore, the Mental Health Review Tribunal will secure another A$2.4m over four years to upgrade IT systems, digitise records, and invest in a new case management system.