Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office | Our Structure | Funding | Charter for Mental Health Care in NSW
The Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office (MHDAO) is responsible for developing, managing and coordinating NSW Ministry of Health policy, strategy and program funding relating to mental health and the prevention and management of alcohol and drug related harm. The office also supports the maintenance of the mental health legislative framework.
The work of MHDAO is delivered mainly through the mental health program and the drug & alcohol program, in partnership with Local Health Districts, Justice and Forensic
Mental Health, Sydney Children's Hospital Network, Non Government Organisations, research institutions and other partner departments.
MHDAO has lead agency responsibility for coordinating Whole-of-Government policy development and implementation in the areas of mental health and drug and alcohol, particularly through actions arising from the State Plan S3 and F3 priorities, Drug and Alcohol Summits, Interagency Action Plan on Better Mental Health and New Directions in Mental Health Policy.
The Office is responsible for convening or playing a lead role in inter-jurisdiction and cross-government forums such as the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, State Reference Group on Diversion, the NSW Council of Australian Governments Mental Health Group, and the Senior Officers' Group on Drugs and Alcohol and Mental Health.
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The Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office (MHDAO) was formed in 2006 by the integration of the Centre for Mental Health, the Centre for Drug and Alcohol, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy, and Community Drug Strategies. The establishment of the Office is a response to the increased policy and funding priority given to these areas by the State Government and nationally under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
MHDAO is configured into four business units:
- Drug & Alcohol Clinical Policy
- Government Relations
- Mental Health Clinical Policy
- Programs Development and Coordination
There are three teams hosted within Local Health Districts:
- MH Kids
- MHDAO Older People's Policy Unit
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A New Direction for Mental Health package (2006/07-2010/11, $939m)
Third Drug Budget (2007/08-2010/11, $193m)
National Mental Health Plan (2003/04-2008/09, $133m)
The Mental Health budget in 2009/10 is $1.171 billion.
Over $1 billion is allocated to Local Health Districts to provide core mental health services, including:
- Child, adult, forensic and older persons inpatient services – acute and non-acute
- Community mental health services for children and adolescents, adults and older people
- Family and carer support programs
- Rehabilitation services
- Emergency services – within emergency departments and community based
- Supported accommodation services
- NGO partnerships
In addition, funding is also centrally provided to NGOs to provide services or advocate for improved services, and to research institutes and universities to assist in research and services development opportunities.
There has been significant funding enhancements in the last 5 years to boost access to and the provision of a broader range of mental health services in NSW. The funding enhancements include:
NSW: A New Direction for Mental Health Services 2006 - 2011 The $939 million five year plan consisted of:
- More than $338 million in new funding for mental health programs over the next five years, $279 million will be dedicated towards community based mental health services;
- $263 million in additional funding (previously announced); and
- $338 million for capital works to open an additional 300 mental health inpatient beds
This package built upon the $241 million funding enhancement in 2004/5 for:
- Additional funding for acute mental health care beds and forensic services
- Additional supported accommodation places;
- More community-based mental health professionals, including nurses;
- More child psychiatrists and inpatient programs for children; and
- Additional Aboriginal mental health workers.
The NSW Drug and Alcohol Budget in 2009/10 is $140 million.
$109 million of the total budget is allocated to Local Health Districts to provide treatment services. Services provided by frontline drug and alcohol workers include:
- Pharmacotherapy services;
- Detoxification and withdrawal management services
- Rehabilitation and counselling services;
- Case management for drug and alcohol users seeking assistance; and
- Consultation liaison services to ensure that hospital’s have timely access to specialist staff to assist in the management of patients presenting with mental health and drug and alcohol problems.
In addition to those direct services provided by Local Health Districts, the NSW Government provides funding for non-government organisations and other agencies to also provide:
- residential rehabilitation services;
- education and prevention services; and
- encouraging pharmacists to engage with the pharmacotherapy program;
The 1999 Drug Summit and subsequent enhancement funding has led to an increase in the array of treatment options for people suffering from drug and alcohol problems.
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Every person in NSW has the right to mental health services that:
- Respect human rights.
- Are compassionate and sensitive to the needs of the individuals they serve.
- Foster positive attitudes to mental health in the larger community.
- Promote positive mental health.
- Encourage true consumer involvement at all levels of service delivery and policy development.
- Provide effective treatment and care across the lifespan.
- Are widely accessible to people with mental health needs.
- Provide care in the least restrictive environment, consistent with treatment requirements.
- Provide effective and comprehensive prevention programs across the lifespan.
- Promote 'living well' with mental illness.
- Address quality of life issues such as accommodation, education, work and income, leisure and sport, home and family and other relationships.
- Use language that reduces stigma, discrimination, or negativity for those affected and their families.
- Respect and are responsive to the diversity in lifestyle, sexuality and sexual preference.
- Are culturally sensitive and appropriate to the needs of the individuals they serve.
- Encourage and support self-help.
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