Politics Research — 06 May 2014

Victoria will allocate an extra $15 million to mental health resources to reduce pressure on police, ambulance and emergency services.

Mental health services will get a $15 million boost in the Victorian budget to help change the way specialist, police and ambulance services respond to people with mental illness.

The investment, over four years, will create a new locally based, co-ordinated mental health crisis response.207412-3x2-340x227

Mental health workers will work with police and ambulance workers to tailor responses to someone needing urgent support.

The budget allocation also aims to reduce pressure on police, ambulance and emergency department resources.

Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge says the initiative draws on previous trials, which brought together mental health workers and police to respond to a crisis to avoid it escalating and involving an emergency department.

The trials found people suffering a mental illness episode were less likely to end up in the local emergency department and  police units could be released to other duties more quickly, she said.

This article first appeared on SBS News on 4 May, 2014.

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