Destinations

“They are not alone”: Victoria announces $60m mental health support package

Victoria’s mental health system will receive a nearly $60 million boost, following an announcement it “wasn’t fit for purpose” by the state’s Mental Health Minister.

Speaking to the press on Sunday, Minister Martin Foley said the $59.7 million funding boost to mental health services was hoped to keep people with mental illness away from already under pressure emergency departments.

“Emergency departments are busy at the best of times, particularly now in the height of a pandemic,” Foley said, as reported by ABC News.

“We want to make sure that we keep those people who need support for mental illness with the support that they need in the community.

“And that’s the main focus of today’s package – how to deal with the surge in demand.”

It follows news there has been a 33 per cent increase in young people – and a 10 per cent increase in all people – presenting to emergency departments for intentional self-harm over the past six weeks, compared to the same time in 2019.

A 19 per cent increase in presentations for urgent and emergency mental health services has also been recorded over the past six weeks.

At least 11 per cent more people are contacting services for inpatient or residential program care, compared to the same time in 2019.

There has been a 29 per cent increase in mental health support by telephone. Furthermore, there have been an additional 2,600 video and teleconference sessions per week – up from less than 100 a week in January.

In announcing the package, Premier Daniel Andrews said: “We know Victorians are resilient, but we have never faced a crisis quite like this one and I know there are a lot of people out there doing it tough right now.

“We want them to know that they are not alone.

“We’ll stand by all Victorians as we get through this – by delivering more beds, more community services and more specialised help for those in need.”

The new funding will strengthen the surge capacity of clinical and community mental health services across Victoria to cope with additional presentations and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.

It will also fast-track delivery of more new public acute mental health beds recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system, boost community mental health services and accelerate the roll-out of the Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program.

The Victorian government will also offer $250,000 for a counselling service for nurses, midwives and personal care workers.

Minster for Mental Health Martin Foley said: “Coronavirus is hitting everyone hard, but some much harder than others.

“This package will provide further support for people from all walks of life experiencing anxiety and distress during this unprecedented period of uncertainty and isolation.

“We were already well on our way to implementing some of the key recommendations from our Royal Commission, and this massive funding boost will fast-track this work to ensure we have the infrastructure and support systems in place as demand on our mental health system increases.”

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline Australia (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1800 512 348), or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).

In addition, Travel Weekly has created a support network on Facebook called the Travel Trade Life Raft that not only provides relevant and up-to-date advice and resources for anyone working in the travel industry, but also a safe space for people to share their stories and learn from one another.

We also encourage those who become a member of the group to post shout-outs to people in the industry doing good in this time of need, questions you would like answered and, of course, check in with one another! If you’re not feeling okay, chances are you’re not alone.

For those interested in joining, click HERE or search ‘Travel Trade Life Raft’ on Facebook.


Featured image source: iStock/Andrii Zastrozhnov

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Ardent Leisure hit with record $3.6m fine over Dreamworld tragedy

Ardent Leisure has been handed what it has described as “the largest fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy”.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Virgin Australia sale update, United makes COVID-19 tests available to customers + MORE

It’s been a landmark week for carriers near and far. Lucky for you, our Aviation Wrap continues to keep you abreast of the latest in this space.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Australia reminds international travellers what’s waiting for them with incredible new ‘8D’ videos

These incredible new vids could also come in handy for agents looking to woo some domestic clients.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers helps Victorian agents find temp work

A group of TravelManagers agents have found an alternative way to earn money during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a little help from the network’s national partnership office.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia is giving away 200 return flights (and some holiday packages) to NSW travellers

In celebration of South Australia easing restrictions to NSW travellers, 200 return airfares and a handful of holiday packages are up for grabs.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Corporate Travel Management emerges from trading halt with big acquisition

Jamie Pherous has reason to smile after CTM announced it has caught a very big fish.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sun seekers will adore these Malaysian islands of Terengganu

by Sponsored by Tourism Malaysia

Along with drawing locals in for its culture and cuisine, Terengganu’s secluded islands and beaches are a paradise for sun seekers. Here’s all you need to know about this lesser-known Malaysian state.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Luxury floating hotel docked at Sydney’s Palm Beach burns down

In sad news for those looking for a luxe stay at Sydney’s northern beaches, this floating hotel was “irreparably damaged” when a fire recently broke out on board.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Man charged after joking his cousin had a bomb on Auckland flight

Unsurprisingly, it is STILL a bad idea to joke about bombs when you are boarding a plane, just in case anyone was wondering. We hope you weren’t.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aussie food suppliers jump on board calls for resumption of cruising

Aussies farmers, beverage companies, transport providers and all the others who fill cruise ships and land excursions with all those delicious goodies have banded together to support the cruise industry.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: LA launches trade page, Spanish tourism board’s new Australian director + MORE

In the dark after a weekend away from travel news? Check back in with this breakdown of the latest destination updates.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Regional tourism receives $250 million cash injection

The government has given regional tourism operators a reason to jump for joy this morning, and caused two industry associations to give such an aggressive thumbs up that they are both now suffering from pulled muscles in their hands.

Share

CommentComments