To help address the root causes of crime and keep Victorians safe, the Andrews Labor Government will expand mental health support for those who are in, or at risk of entering, the criminal justice system.
With a focus on preventing offending in the first place, the funding will mean more forensic mental health beds, more specialist treatment and create a range of community, prison and court programs.
Funded as part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, it also provides $43.9 million in capital funding to expand Thomas Embling Hospital and the State’s adult forensic mental health capacity. The Government will work with Forensicare over the coming months to manage this expansion.
The Budget also includes $28.6 million over four years, to identify clients who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system, and provide support to stop them offending in the first place.
The funding will also provide specialist mental health support for people aged 16 to24, both in custody and in the community.
An after-hours mental health service will provide bail hearing support to ensure people at risk of harm to themselves or others are being properly managed.
This investment builds on the Labor Government’s existing work to provide 18 new beds at Thomas Embling Hospital.
It also builds on investment across government to improve mental health treatment services and improve community safety, including expanding mental health treatment services at Dame Phyllis Frost and Ravenhall prisons.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than a cure.’ This investment will help those most at risk receive the treatment they need to get well, stay well and keep out of trouble.”
“By targeting those who need mental health support sooner, we’re making our state safer.”