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Reforming a fragmented system for people with severe mental illness...

Improving the coordination of the mental health care system will help Australians with severe, persistent and debilitating mental illness to better manage their health, participate in the community and stay out of hospital.

Too many people are falling through cracks in the system

There are around 60,000 Australians living with severe, persistent and debilitating mental illness who have complex service needs and face significant obstacles participating in society and social or vocational activities.

These people need a mix of clinical and social support services, including stable, supported housing that is sensitive and appropriate to their individual needs.

Currently, the onus is placed on people with severe mental illness and their carers and families to navigate a fragmented and complex system of clinical and social support services, instead of these services revolving around the individual.

As a result, many people are falling through cracks in the system.

Improving outcomes for people with severe, persistent mental illness

That is why the Government is investing $344 million over five years to expand services and improve their delivery for people with severe, persistent and debilitating mental illness and their families. This will be achieved by:

  • funding local organisations to provide a single point of contact for the mental health care needs of 24,000 people with severe mental illness and their families;
  • developing a single assessment process for all people with severe mental illness to ensure services are matched in a consistent way to their needs; and
  • providing additional Flexible Care Packages — funding to allow services to be purchased to match an individual's needs.

These initiatives will help people with severe mental illness to receive the support they need to help them to break the cycle of hospitalisation and unplanned re‑admission.

Importantly, it will also ensure their families and carers have one place to turn to for help if additional information or services are needed.