Mental health dodges funding review bullet

Originally published on The Land 10 April 2015 by Ruth Caskey

A commitment to mental health funding for the next financial year has been welcomed by service providers as the government continues its review of programs and services.

The federal government has extended the current funding, with $300 million for community-based mental health programs for a further 12 months.

Until last week's announcement, many regional mental health care workers faced uncertainty in their positions as they were not guaranteed funding after June 30.

The announcement follows an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley from mental health care providers.

They asked for urgent action and said the issue had reached crisis point as staff were looking for new jobs and winding down services.

Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) President Professor Dennis Pashen was concerned regional mental health care workers would move to metropolitan areas to look for work if the funding wasn't continued.

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