Welcome to the June edition of our MHFFTas Newsletter.
It continues to be busy times in both the Mental Health and AOD sectors and there has been some significant activity over recent months.
2023 State Budget
The 2023 Tasmanian State budget, which was announced on the 25th of May, has generated mixed responses within the community services sector. While the budget contains various provisions impacting different areas, we are delighted to announce that MHFFTas has received additional funding over the next four years. This funding aims to bolster lived experience participation and support for families and friends throughout the state. We express our gratitude to the state government for their ongoing support for our organisation and their strong commitment to amplifying the lived experience voice within the mental health and AOD sectors.
The budget has allocated resources for the establishment of new mental health precincts at both the Launceston General Hospital and the North-West Regional Hospital. This decision reflects the government’s dedication to improving mental health services and infrastructure in Tasmania. The creation of these precincts will provide enhanced facilities and resources to cater to the diverse needs of individuals seeking mental health support in these regions.
Recognising the significance of lived experience in driving positive change, the budget has also earmarked funding to train and support the development of the lived experience workforce in Tasmania. This investment underscores the government’s recognition of the invaluable expertise and perspective that individuals with lived experience bring to the mental health and AOD sectors. We look forward to working with the Mental Health Council of Tasmania on this initiative, ensuring that the lived experience workforce is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality support and care to those accessing services across the state.
The budget also will fund the establishment of an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) lived experience consumer group. We extend our support to the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania (ATDC) and congratulate them on their relentless advocacy for the creation of an AOD consumer organisation.
St Helens Private Hospital Closure
We recognise the concerns in our community around the recent announcement of the closure of St Helen’s Private Hospital in June 2023. The hospital has provided 31 inpatient mental health beds, day-patient programs, and an eight-bed mother and baby-unit for those needing help with sleep and post-natal mental health problems. MHFFTas is working closely with the state government to help mitigate the impact of this closure and we welcome the Premier’s commitment to establishing a mother and baby unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital, as well as working with private service providers to address the impact of this closure. We encourage families and friends impacted by this closure to contact us directly so we can include this in our advocacy.
We have signed an MOU with headspace state-wide and are currently planning the delivery of our programs and staff information sessions at their three sites. We look forward to working with the headspace providers, the link , and Cornerstone Youth Services, to provide information and support for families and friends supporting young people across the state.
We were thrilled to recently deliver the first Recovery College Tasmania community-partnered session on Challenging Stigma. The sessions were held at Glenorchy and The Peacock Centre and were well attended and we were provided with amazing feedback from the participants. Due to the success of these sessions, we can announce that we will deliver two more sessions in the upcoming Recovery College Winter schedule.
We were excited to launch our brand new website recently. We would like to thank our consultant Flavia Young, Dan from Design ID , Helen from Finch Design, Simon from Tempus Innovations, and Sarah Butterworth (photographer) for helping us create such a wonderful website.
National Peak Bodies
Work continues with the development of the two national peak bodies. Mental Health Carers Australia (which we are a member of) is working closely with the Federal Department of Health on the development and implementation of Carer, Family, and Kin Peak Body.