ACT Budget Prioritizes Community Mental Health Services

ACT, Australia

Article: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has announced its commitment to supporting community mental health services in the 2024-25 Budget. With over $15 million allocated over four years, initiatives aim to provide Canberrans with easier access to mental health care when and where they need it. Key initiatives include the continued funding of the Police, Ambulance, and Clinician Early Response (PACER) team, co-designing a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth mental health service, and ongoing support for community child and youth mental health programs.

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, emphasized the government’s dedication to investing in mental health services, both in hospitals and in the community. He noted that programs like PACER help provide appropriate care to people experiencing acute mental health issues, enabling them to stay in their community.

Minister for Mental Health, Emma Davidson, highlighted the importance of early access to mental health support, which can help individuals stay healthy and engaged in their communities. The budget also prioritizes funding for youth mental health services, such as WOKE, Stepping Stones, MindMap, and the Youth Mental Health Promotion program, to support young Canberrans’ health and happiness.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, praised the investment in mental health support, stating that it enables the delivery of comprehensive and timely care for the Canberra community. The PACER model has proven to be invaluable in addressing mental health crises, reducing strain on emergency response teams, and bolstering the health and wellbeing of those in crisis.