Severe Mental Illness Support to Flow Through Partnership Services

Severe Mental Illness Support to Flow Through Partnership Services

28 June 2013

Australians with severe and persistent mental illness will benefit from $472.7 million provided to organisations in 48 Medicare Local regions for coordinated and flexibly funded support.

Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler 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, there will be strong links across different sectors, services and supports in each region under the Partners in Recovery (PIR) initiative, to better meet the needs of these vulnerable people, Mr Butler said.

The PIR initiative is a key plank of the Labor Governments $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.