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    NSW 2019 Budget and mental health funding

    20th June 2019

    STATE BUDGET AND MENTAL HEALTH

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:11): My question is directed to the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women. Have funds been allocated in the budget specifically for the treatment and care of people in the community suffering an acute episode of psychosis or another serious mental health presentation, whether it be the first time or not?

    The PRESIDENT: I call the Hon. Walt Secord to order for the first time. I call the Hon. Bronnie Taylor to order for the first time.

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women) (12:12): I thank the honourable member for his question about community mental health services in the budget. I note his keen interest in mental health as he was a psychiatric nurse for many years. There has been a record spend on mental health in this budget of over $2 billion. That is something to be extremely proud of. Over the next 10 years $700 million is allocated to mental health infrastructure projects. Myriad community programs are happening across the State. Having a history in health I understand the importance of primary care; I know how important those services are. The Government is doing really well in terms of acute admissions but we need to look at community-based services. Extensive spending has occurred in those areas as well.

    I was at St Vincent’s Hospital recently to announce its mental health plan over the next four years. That hospital is looking at having an acute centre for admission within its emergency department and step‑up, step‑down beds. In answer to your question, the Government is announcing 2,600 of those step-up, step‑down beds. That is the secret to going forward in mental health. Your question is very pertinent because we will get better outcomes if acute admissions are managed well and people have support when they return to their community. The member would know that because he is a professional in that field.

    We all want to keep people out of acute care in hospital and manage them instead in the community. That is really important for people’s mental health and their outcomes. I am happy to say that this Government is investing in that area. As Minister for mental health it will be an absolute priority for me during this next term of government.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:14): I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for her answer. Could the Minister elucidate on what funding is going into the acute treatment and care of mentally ill people who are assessed when the treatment is to be done in the community, not in a hospital bed?

    The Hon. Trevor Khan: Point of order: My point of order is that the member’s supplementary question is a restatement of his previous question.

    The PRESIDENT: It is a restatement of the previous question with an additional new part to the question. I do not believe it is a supplementary question seeking an elucidation of part of the answer given. The supplementary question is out of order.

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