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Establishment of a National Psychosocial Supports Program

15 May 2017

As you are aware, effective mental health service provision requires clinical services to be balanced, supported and complemented by an array of non-clinical support services that provide practical assistance for people in the areas of personal care, social support, housing and employment.

The 2017-18 budget allows for the establishment of a national psychosocial supports program that will provide flexible, targeted services to people with severe mental illness resulting in psychosocial disability who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Minister for Health and the Department of Health will seek a commitment from State and Territory Governments to maintain funding for psychosocial supports for those in need outside of the NDIS, via a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Psychosocial Supports.

The Minister will seek formal agreement from the States and Territories to direct funding to Primary Health Networks for a regional, stepped care approach that would target psychosocial support services to consumer needs, creating flexible, efficient service delivery. 

This program would leverage off national mental health reforms, funding Primary Health Networks to undertake the planning and commissioning of both clinical and non-clinical mental health services, improving coordination and ‘wrap around’ care for individuals with psychosocial disability.

Primary Health Networks would fund a range of psychosocial supports, which may include individual and group support and rehabilitation services and peer work.  The type of supports available will reflect the needs of the local community.

A national psychosocial supports program will reduce the community mental health service gap, improve mental health outcomes and reduce the inequity in service availability.  The program will also provide continuity of support for existing clients of funded psychosocial services who are deemed not eligible for the NDIS.
Further information will be available as negotiations with the states and territories progress.

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