FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed sweeping changes planned for mental health services across Australia, which are set to directly benefit people in the New England Electorate.
“This Mental Health Reform Package sets out bold reforms to be phased in over the next three years, with our Hunter New England and Central Coast (HNECC) Primary Health Network at the forefront of planning and commissioning better care,” Mr Joyce said.
The key reform will see people with severe and complex mental illness benefiting from new funding approaches to co-ordinating and delivering services, providing choice and control for people with mental illness.
“The Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network will be in charge of commissioning the mental health services they consider necessary and appropriate in the New England Electorate to meet specific local needs.
“This is all about recognising with mental health or an illness, not everyone is the same and may need varying levels of care or treatment depending on how their condition is assessed,” Mr Joyce said.
He said included in the reforms is a new approach to suicide prevention, a single telephone and digital gateway to find the mental health advice or service you need - when you need it - along with specific care reforms focussed on children and indigenous Australians.
Each year, around 4 million Australians suffer some form of mental health issue, placing it as the third most significant chronic condition in the country, after cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Full details of the Turnbull Government’s Mental Health Reform Package can be located at www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-review-response