$15.1 million for mental health and police crisis response
Written on the 25 June 2014
A $15.1 million Victorian Government investment will change the way police and emergency services work to respond to mental health crises in the community.
The funding is for a state-wide rollout of emergency and mental health services so that police, ambulance and mental health personnel can tailor local solutions to each crisis response.I joined Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge and Victoria Police Deputy commissioner Lucinda Nolan to announce the new Mental Health and Police Response (MHaP Response) funding for each of Victoria’s 21 Area Mental Health Services.
Funding for the initiative is provided in the 2014/15 Victorian State Budget and will deliver a more targeted and timely response to a person needing urgent mental health support in the community while at the same time, reducing pressure on police, ambulance and emergency department resources.We know that a large number of police and ambulance call-outs involve people in a critical state due to mental illness. Our new funding will allow mental health, police and emergency services teams to develop their own unique and local mental health crisis response.
The MHaP Response draws on previous pilot projects in Bayside, Kingston and Glen Eira council areas as well as through Eastern Health, Alfred Health and Northern Health. These trials - variously known as PACER, NPACER or PARTS - brought mental health practitioners together with police to respond to a mental health crisis, rather than it escalating unnecessarily and involving an emergency department.Evaluations of the pilots found that people suffering an episode of mental illness were less likely to end up in the local emergency department and that police units could be released to other duties more quickly.
This funding means that mental health professionals in each region will work with local police and ambulance personnel to tailor the crisis response to the local realities on the ground.
These initiatives will ensure that people with a mental illness will receive the most appropriate and the least-restrictive care in a timely manner, minimising harm to the person and their family by being supported in their community.
Pictured with Member for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown, Acting Senior Sergeant Doug Bowles, Minister for Mental Health and Community Services Hon Mary Wooldridge MP and Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan at the announcement.