Hundreds of older people across NSW will benefit from an additional 17,000 care hours, as part of a $2.4 million boost for Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) services.
Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies was joined by Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons to make the announcement at Liverpool Hospital in South Western Sydney today, home to the State’s fastest growing older population.
“Like people of any age, older people can experience mental illness as well as recover with the right treatment and supports,” Mrs Davies said.
“This funding means older people living with mental illness and their families will receive improved care locally, better access to services and importantly more specialist assessment.”
The funding boost will enable the recruitment of 15 new fulltime mental health clinicians across the state, including one in South Western Sydney Local Health District.
“This NSW Government investment takes the number of new OPMH positions in South Western Sydney LHD to 13 since 2015-16, ensuring our local health staff keep meeting increased demand from the community for mental health services,” Ms Gibbons said.
The new positions will be filled with a mix of psychiatrists, nurses and allied health professionals including occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists.
Mrs Davies also announced the new 10-year state-wide OPMH Service Plan, which will guide the further development of Older People’s Mental Health services across NSW.
“This plan focuses on expanding mental health supports for older people in communities across the state, particularly those in a residential aged care setting,” Mrs Davies said.
Since the 10-year NSW Mental Health Reform began in 2014, a total of 46 additional fulltime OPMH clinicians have been funded by the NSW Government.