Better Mental Health and Wellbeing for All Tasmanians

Health is Labor’s Number One Priority

Labor is committed to supporting better mental health and wellbeing for all Tasmanians.

Labor will work together with the community and health professionals to help Tasmanians stay well or, if they need to access support, that mental health initiatives deliver the services that they need.

More Acute Mental Health Beds

The current service design for the mental health ward at the new Royal Hobart Hospital does not provide for the number of beds needed to meet current and future demand.

Labor will work with clinicians to find a suitable location for up to 10 additional mental health beds to provide a total of 42 acute mental health beds close to the RHH.

These beds will be funded through Labor’s health plan as new beds come on line.

Mental Health Accommodation in Communities

Labor understands that in addition to acute beds, there is a need for more mental health services and accommodation in communities.

Labor will commit to reviewing current levels of acute, transitional and long term accommodation and associated services in order to provide best practice mental health treatment and rehabilitation.

Labor will build 12 individual homes statewide to assist Tasmanians with mental ill health into recovery.  Labor wants to achieve the best outcomes to support the mental wellbeing of Tasmanians which is why we will partner and consult with the community housing sector and Mental Health Council of Tasmania and service providers to deliver a therapeutic approach to support Tasmanians with mental ill health to live independently.

This pilot program is designed to identify low/moderate at risk clients and support them into housing to prevent avoidable backlogs in transitional mental health residential facilities.

Cost: $2.5m

Millbrook Rise Redevelopment

Labor will commit funding towards capital works required to repurpose the former Salvation Army building at Millbrook Rise in New Norfolk for accommodation for mental health consumers as a step down facility from the acute setting.

Cost: $600,000

Residential Mental Health Prevention and Care Facility

Labor will fund an investigation into planning for the development of a new residential Mental Health Prevention and Care Facility. The scope for this facility will incorporate clinical treatment and psychosocial support for consumers in short term, transitional accommodation, outpatient support services, and outreach services for long term consumers in community based accommodation.

Cost: $120,000

Adolescent and Youth Residential Mental Health Treatment Facility

Labor will fund an investigation into planning for the development of an Adolescent and Youth Residential Mental Health Treatment facility, so that Tasmanian parents and carers no longer have to take their young people to the mainland to access the treatment and support they need to recover.

Cost: $120,000

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Labor will review the service delivery model for Child and Adolescent Consumers of Mental Health Services, to ensure that our young people have the best treatment and support services available to them.

Labor will commence a consultation process with clinicians to ensure that appropriate Child and Adolescent Mental Health staff are employed in our hospitals.

Labor will introduce Child and Adolescent outreach mental health teams in the South, North and North West to support the increase in hospital emergency room presentations.

Cost: $7.2

Rethink Mental Health

Labor is committed to the Rethink Mental Health Strategy.  This is an important strategy for Tasmania, but there are concerns that the rollout has not progressed as intended.

Labor will ensure that any updates that are required as a result of reforms that have taken place since the strategy was published are implemented.  Some of the reforms that have had an impact on Mental Health in Tasmania include the rollout of the NDIS, and the changing role of the Primary Health Networks.  Labor will work with key stakeholders to ensure that the strategy is, and continues to be, contemporary.

Supporting Carers and Families

Members of our community who provide care and support to loved ones who are living with mental ill health face unique challenges.

Labor is committed to better supporting carers of people living with mental ill health.  A Labor Government will work with Mental Health Carers Tasmania to deliver two new projects in Tasmania; working with organisations to implement strategies to increase carer inclusiveness, and engaging with and supporting hidden carers in the community – those who don’t recognise that they are carers.

Cost: $1 million

Rural Alive and Well (RAW)

Rural Alive and Well has a proven track record of providing a valuable service to rural and regional Tasmania. No Tasmanian should ever feel isolated and alone. Rural Alive and Well plays a vital role in making sure people know there is someone there to talk to.

Unfortunately funding for RAW has been cut by the Liberal Government which has impacted their ability to provide outreach. Labor will provide additional funding to RAW to ensure it can continue to do this important work across regional and rural Tasmania.

Cost: $1.8 million

Using Technology to Support Mental Health and Wellbeing

Labor recognises that advances in technology present opportunities to streamline the journey of mental health consumers and empower them to manage their own pathway to recovery.

Labor will develop a user-friendly, mobile accessible service directory, enabling members of the community to easily and accurately find the right service for their needs at the time they need it.  Labor will also investigate the development of an interactive mobile app, able to be personalised for individuals, as a tool for documenting and tracking their pathway to recovery, in conjunction with their clinician/service providers and personal support networks.

Cost: $650,000

Psychiatric Emergency Nurses (PEN)

Labor will fund PENs to be rostered every shift in the Emergency Department at the RHH, LGH and NWRH to help assess, care and treat mental health patients in conjunction with psychiatric support.  This will greatly assist with improving mental health treatment for patients and their care outcomes in the ED.

Cost: $8.58 million

Speak Up Stay ChatTY Schools Program

Labor will fund the Speak Up Stay ChatTY schools program for an additional 12 months.

Labor will work with stakeholders (services and educators) to develop guidelines to ensure that programs in schools are being delivered safely and in accordance with best clinical practice.

Cost: $280,000

Working It Out School Program and Outreach Worker to North West

Working It Out provides outreach work in schools and colleges through professional learning, support, parent information sessions and diversity groups. The current program only has funding until June 2019. Labor will continue to support WIO to deliver this program beyond 2019.

Working It Out is not funded to provide outreach to the North West. Labor will ensure that LGBTI people and their families in regional Tasmania are not disadvantaged by funding an outreach worker in the NW.

Cost: $300,000 (Funding commitment from Education)

Cost: $350,000 for NW outreach worker

Mental Health Checks and Presumptive PTSD

Labor will enhance on-the-job mental health checks, improving workplace support and training and encouraging staff to come forward and ask for help.

It’s imperative we recognise the high levels of PTSD experienced by Tasmania’s first responders and Labor will work towards introducing presumptive PTSD legislation for first responders within the first year of Government.

Only Labor will invest in health, put patients first and fix the health crisis.