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Taking action to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Tasmanians is a priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government.

Mental ill-health and suicide are significant issues in Tasmania and across the nation.

Since coming to Government we have invested an additional $8.7 million into mental health in Tasmania, as well as providing an additional $2 million for the Mental Health Tribunal and $2.4 million to reorient the inpatient facility as part of the improved RHH Redevelopment project to provide better mental health outcomes.

The additional funding is being used to increase staffing for child and adolescent mental health services, to increase advocacy support for people living with mental illness, to extend mental health support in rural communities and additional funding for grassroots mental health support through Neighbourhood Houses, for men’s mental health and wellbeing through Men’s Sheds and for suicide prevention.

This Long-Term Plan provides a strategic framework to guide investment decisions into the future. Additional resources will be provided as part of the normal budget process over future years.

But improved mental health is not only about resourcing, it is also about ensuring we have an integrated mental health system that provides support in the right place, at the right time, and with clear signposts about where to get help and how.

Today I am pleased to release the Rethink Mental Health plan, which has been developed in close consultation with the mental health community, including consumers and carers.

The Rethink plan is a detailed roadmap for improved mental health services and support over the next decade.

The plan lays out directions, goals and key actions to achieve real change.

Key actions include:

• Establishing a single Statewide Public Mental Health System
• Establishing a peer workforce in public mental health services to complement the existing workforce
• Establishing early referral pathways especially following a suicide attempt or self-harm
• Strengthening mental health services for infants, children and young people and their families and carers
• Developing stepped models of mental health support in the community
• education and training and consultation liaison models with public and private mental health services
• Developing a joint workforce development strategy for the public mental health services and the private mental health sector including establishment of joint psychiatrist positions
• Developing opportunities for joint training to support an integrated mental health system including joint training for consumers, carers, public, private, primary health, and community sector
• Implementing the Safe Wards model in public mental health inpatient units

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our key partner in the Rethink Project, the Mental Health Council of Tasmania.

I would also like to thank the many Tasmanians who took the time to participate in the Rethink Project, and tell us what needs to be done to integrate our mental health system and how we can improve mental health and mental health care in Tasmania.  Together with this feedback we have also considered the best available evidence to advance the mental health and wellbeing of Tasmanians.

This Plan, along with the One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reform of Tasmania’s health system and the Healthy Tasmania initiative, will make a significant contribution to our goal to make Tasmania the healthiest population in Australia by 2025.

A copy of the report can be seen at:

Rosalie Woodruff: Mental Health Plan Welcome but Needs Funding

Mental Health Council Endorse 10 Year Plan for Mental Health