RichmondPRA Applauds Commonwealth Mental Health Reforms

Thu Nov 26, 2015

One of Australia’s largest community-based mental health service providers, RichmondPRA, has applauded the announcement of the Federal Government’s mental health reform package.

Announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Sussan Ley, the package clearly recognises the importance of community-based support to help people with mental health issues.

It also focusses on regional and local responses and individualised support packages to ensure that people in need of help can have choice and control about the support they receive to assist them on their individual recovery journey.

“Overall, this is a landmark mental health package,” RichmondPRA CEO Pamela Rutledge said.

“We strongly support the move to integrate funding streams into a flexible funding pool for regional commissioning. And the concept of stepped support is vitally important so that people can easily find and access the right service, early, before they are in a crisis situation which often results in police and ambulance involvement and unnecessary admission to hospital. This requires funding of a suite of community-based services, many of which can be provided by the not-for-profit sector.”

RichmondPRA was also pleased to see a commitment to invest more in indigenous mental health.

“The implementation process of course will be critical,” Ms Rutledge said, “and we hope to see a stronger emphasis on involvement of consumers and carers, not just in being consulted, but in the co-design of the services and in the commissioning processes. There is also great potential for consumer-operated services.”

RichmondPRA also called for a greater recognition of the peer workforce as an important element of the mental health workforce. RichmondPRA is the largest single employer of peer workers in Australia, employing 90 people with a lived experience of a mental health issue to support people who access their services.

 

RichmondPRA is a not-for-profit organisation providing recovery focussed support programs, accommodation and employment for people with mental health issues in New South Wales and Queensland. Advocating community-based , it is a foremost mental health support provider that has been in operation for nearly 60 years.

Media enquiries: Matthew Watson, 0417 691 884.