The NSW government's $130 million commitment to mental health funding is a positive addition to community-based mental health services at a time of increased demand, says Flourish Australia.
"It is welcome to see support for NSW’s COVID-19 recovery also include investing in the mental health and wellbeing of the state," said Flourish Australia chief executive Mark Orr.
"The disruption and uncertainty of the past 20 months have put significant stress on people and communities, and the mental health sector has felt this pressure - this investment is certainly needed and will be very well used."
Mr Orr said he was keen to see more detail of the package but the $21 million to support new Aboriginal care navigator and peer worker positions, a $20 million injection for headspace centres, and $5 million for local community wellbeing events, amongst other things were all very welcome initiatives.
"Peer support services are an under-utilised resource in the mental health system - but we know the work peer workers do is so powerful," said Mr Orr.
"Flourish Australia sees the power of peer workers every day in our own work. Their authentic and meaningful support, based on their own lived experience, is a great source of hope, and helps people see a way forward."
Mr Orr said community-based mental health initiatives are key to addressing gaps in the mental health system and supporting suicide prevention.
"For many people with a lived experience of a mental health issue, particularly those with complex mental health experience, there is a gap in what mental health support is available in the community.”
“People with lived experience of complex mental health issues should not be forgotten as we envision what a comprehensive mental health system looks like post lockdown.”
"Community-based mental health meets people where they're at, in their community. It enables people to access appropriate supports when and where they need it most."
Flourish Australia is one of Australia’s largest community managed mental health providers and supports over 9,300 people with complex mental health issues to live meaningful lives in their communities.
For media enquiries, please contact Suze Metherell on 0412 867 084.
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