The Andrews government handed down the 2021-2022 State Budget today, describing it as two sides of the same coin – creating jobs while caring for our community.
MCM welcomes the significant investment of $3.8bn to commence implementing the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
In particular, MCM commends the Victorian Government’s focus on meeting the mental health needs of young people, including the new Youth Prevention and Recovery Care units; expanding the hours provided through Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Services; creating a separate care stream for young people aged 12 to 25 and investing in school-based mental health tools and practitioners.
MCM CEO Vicki Sutton says, “We welcome the emphasis on a youth-specific mental health response for young people aged 12- 25. A quarter of Victoria’s homeless population falls within this age bracket, and we know over half have at least one mental health condition.
“Supporting young people to address mental health issues early is one important way we can help young people by enabling them to receive an appropriate level of support, preventing further compounding trauma and mental health decline,” Vicki said.
This Budget’s focus on mental health, combined with the previous budget commitment of $5.3bn historic investment in housing, provides real optimism that the resources to address homelessness, and the drivers and impacts of homelessness on mental health, can be addressed together.
The greatest expression of that ambition for young people is the Mental Health Royal Commission’s recommendation to invest in 500 new supported housing places for young people aged 18-25 living with mental illness and experiencing unstable housing or homelessness, which MCM strongly supports. We welcome this Budget’s investment in the design and planning process to deliver this critical response in the future.
“Young people deserve an integrated and individually tailored mental health and well-being response to move beyond their experience of homelessness, mental illness and trauma toward a positive, independent and productive life,” Vicki said.
MCM is also pleased to see further investment to support victim-survivors of family violence, focusing on supporting children and young people impacted by family violence.