Major boost to help seniors suffering from mental health
NEW South Wales seniors suffering from long-term mental illness may soon discover a ray of sunlight through the fog with the State Government set to boost access to specialised treatment.
The Berejiklian Government has pledged $15 million over 10 years to new partnerships with aged care facilities to help older people with enduring mental illness live outside of hospital.
Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said the investment would help older Australians find the right care in a familiar and comforting environment.
"Older people with mental illness need specialised care and these partnerships mean aged care providers can expand their services and offer holistic care options for residents," Mrs Davies said.
"It's not preferable for patients, or their family and friends, to be in hospital for long stays and we want to do what we can to have older people settled in the community with the right support."
New services - including 10-bed mental health transition units - have already been established in the Hunter New England, Nepean Blue Mountains, Northern and Western Sydney Local Health Districts.
Minister Davies said this showed the program was already proving to be a success in the community.
"The program is already helping vulnerable people, who are experiencing the impacts of persistent mental illness, severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, drug and alcohol issues or homelessness, to have a significantly improved quality of life," she said.
Additional funding has been provided to clinical mental health services to support the delivery of the program. The program known as My Choice: Pathways to Community Living Initiative is part of the NSW Government's response to the Mental Health Commission of NSW's strategic plan for mental health 'Living Well'.
If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78, or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800. For mental health services in your local area phone the NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.