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NSW Budget 2022-23

The budget for mental health services in 2022-23 is $2.9 billion. This focuses on improving the lives of people living in NSW with mental illness by delivering better care in hospital and making supports available for them, their families and carers, in the community.

Key mental health programs and initiatives

  • $143.4 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to extend to the Towards Zero Suicide initiatives, a range of programs designed to work together to prevent suicides occurring in NSW communities.
  • $383 million over four years from 2022-23, co-funded with the Australian Governmnent, for initiatives under the Bilateral Schedule to the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. NSW Government contribution over 4 years from 2022-23 includes:-
    • $60.7 million for Aftercare to support people who have attempted suicide or experienced suicidal crisis
    • $46.5 million to substantially expand and enhance headspace services, ensuring it can reach more young people across the state
    • $26.4 million to establish Head to Health hubs, which will see multidisciplinary teams operating a 'no wrong door' approach to support adults experiencing mental health challenges.
    • $17.9 million for four new child mental health and wellbeing community-based hubs to strengthen support for parents, improve intervention early in life for children, and increase access to multidisciplinary care.
    • $6.4 million to improve perinatal mental health data collection and reporting.
    • $6.8 million to ensure all people in NSW who are bereaved or impacted by suicide can access postvention support services.
    • $2.4 million to trial a Distress Brief Support program to prevent and reduce distress in the community.
  • $3.4 million a year to support Lifeline Telephone Crisis Services in NSW, with an additional $28.5 million over 4 years from 2022-23 for Lifeline to meet the increasing demand for mental health crisis services.
  • $5.2 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to Gidget Foundation Australia to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents, and to promote community awareness of perinatal mental health needs.
  • $3.8 million recurrent in 2022-23 to non-government aged care providers to support the delivery of specialist residential aged care services for older people with complex mental health needs, in partnership with specialist older people's mental health clinical services.
  • $10.1 million over four years from 2022-23 to implement Aboriginal mental health models of care to co-design and sustain culturally appropriate mental health models of care across NSW.
  • $9.7 million over three years from 2022-23 to expand the Building on Aboriginal Community Resilience initiative and fund 12 additional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to co-design community-based suicide prevention and wellbeing programs.
  • Over $91.2 million in 2022-23 in NSW Mental Health Community Living Programs, supporting more than 1,900 people with severe mentalillness to live independently in the community. This includes the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI), Community Living Supports (CLS) program, HASI Plus, and the Mental Health Community Living Supports for Refugees program.

Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program

In the 2022-23 NSW State Budget, $73.3 million was allocated as part of the $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, to build more and better co-designed contemporary mental health facilities in NSW.

Mental health response to drought, bushfires and floods in rural and regional NSW

People in rural and regional NSW have been impacted by the combined effects of drought, bushfire, floods and COVID-19. In response, the NSW Government is continuing a range of programs to support people and communities including:

  • $5 million to Western NSW Primary Health Network in 2022-23 to support the mental health recovery of communities impacted by floods in Western NSW. This includes:
    • $2 million to engage psychologists and crisis counsellors to boost local access to psychological, counselling, peer and clinical support
    • $1 million for a wellbeing and resilience grants program for non-government organisations, with a focus on supporting young people, older residents and Aboriginal communities
    • $1.4 million to recruit Local Recovery Coordinators, including Aboriginal identified positions in partnership with local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
    • $600,000 for Lifeline Central West to provide local supports to people in crisis in Western NSW.
  • $36.4 million over 4 years from 2021-22 for 57 mental health Response and Recovery Specialists across regional and rural NSW to provide assertive outreach support for communities, and coordination with local services at the time of a disaster or crisis, and during the ongoing recovery phase including:
    • $18.2 million over the 4 years, including $4.4million in 2022-23, for 27 FTE farmgate counsellors and drought peer support workers to continue to provide outreach and coordination with local services and communities.
    • $18.2 million over 2 years, including $9 million in 2022-23, for 30 FTE Disaster Recovery Clinicians (previously called bushfire recovery clinicians) across disaster affected areas, who will continue to work closely with primary health initiatives, community and wellfare agencies and mental health services to provide direct care and respond to local community needs and issues on the ground.
  • The headspace Community and Schools Resilience Project will provide $3.5 million over 2021-22 and 2022-23 to headspace to deliver target neutral disaster recovery strategies, mental health training and support, and community wellbeing strategies for regional NSW communities impacted by the March 2021 storm and flood events. headspace Community and School Officers (CSOs) will be placed in Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Hunter New England, and Western NSW Local Health Districts, as well as a NSW state-wide program coordinator.
  • The Aboriginal Mental Health Disaster Recovery Program will provide $4 million over 2022-23 and 2023-24 to Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) to provide culturally appropriate, locally based support to Aboriginal communities impacted by the February and March 2021 floods. Projects include the development of culturally appropriate resources and the training and temporary employment of staff to support mental health, healing and wellbeing.
  • $25 million over 3 years from 2021-22 has been provided for a Mental Wellbeing Package for communities impacted by the February 2022 floods. Key highlights of the package include:
    • $16.5 million for Healthy North Coast Primary Health Network:
      • $1 million to set up 4 pop-up Safe Havens in Lismore, Murwillumbah, Woodburn and Mullumbimby to support people in distress
      • $7 million to engage both clinical and non-clinical workforce, including staff for the pop-up Save Havens, to boost local access to psychological and clinical support
      • $5 million to establish a wellbeing and resilience grants program for NGOs, with a key focus on supporting young people, older residents and Aboriginal communities
    • $3.5 million over 3 years to recruit 10 Local Recovery Coordinators to coordinate services, identify and respond to emerging issues, and work closely with other services to provide direct care
    • $3.5 million for headspace to work with affected communities to identify what each community needs
    • $5 million for Hunter New England, Nepean Blue Mountains and North Sydney Primary Health Networks to establish wellbeing and resilience grant programs for NGOs.

Mental health response to COVID-19

The NSW Government has announced a Mental Health Recovery Package of $130 million in October 2021. These initiatives address the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on the people of NSW in 3 key priority areas: supporting young people and families, boosting system capacity to meet demand, helping communities to lead the recovery. Key initiatives from 2021-22 include:

  • $35 million over 2 years to boost the surge capacity of the mental health clinical workforce. In partnership with Primary Health Networks, NSW residents will be able to access privately practising psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
  • $20 million over 2 1/2 years to provide up to 55,000 additional services to young people through their local headspace centres. This funding will enable clinically supervised masters and doctorate psychology students (clinical and general registration) and social work and occupational therapy students (pre-registration/masters) to undertake placements at headspace centres. It will also boost GP and psychiatrist appointments at the headspace centres across NSW
  • $14 million over 2 years for suicide prevention training that focusses on networks around young people including parents, teachers, youth workers, sport coaches, club managers, community groups, and high school peer leaders.
  • $21 million over 4 years to employ 18 FTE Aboriginal Care Navigators and 18 FTE Aboriginal Peer Workers. These roles will link Aboriginal Australians to a range of culturally appropriate mental health and suicide prevention services.
  • $16.5 million over 4 years to support new eating disorder clinicians to be employed in each local health district and network across NSW to address the increase in eating disorder presentations. This funding will increase frontline workforce capacity to recognise and respond to eating disorder presentations. It will also fund the Butterfly Foundation to admit NSW residents into its national eating disorders centre at Wandi Nerida in Queensland.
Current as at: Monday 24 April 2023
Contact page owner: Mental Health