The ASU have been campaigning around the defunding of Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS) in Victoria. This defunding has occurred as the Victorian State Government remove funding to state mental health services as the NDIS rolls out.
The ASU, Service providers, the workforce and consumers are all aware of the dramatic and devastating impact that this will have on the mental health sector. Despite the continuous meetings with the Victorian Government where members have had an opportunity to detail the massive issues and shortfalls of the NDIS for the workforce, consumers and ultimately the state are yet to act.
The ASU is calling on the Andrews’ Government to immediately re-fund state based Community Mental Health services! As ASU delegate Kim Gear from NEAMI says;
“Our consumers are the ones that are going to suffer. In the past we have been able to support people adhoc if needed which can divert a crisis. This system is going to put additional pressure on Clinical Services and will result in more hospital admissions.”
In typically selfless fashion ASU delegates are thinking about their clients, but Kim, and all of her colleagues, will also lose their jobs too due to the neglect of the Andrews’ government.
That’s 1300 Jobs that will be lost in Victoria!
This is a crisis and the Andrews’ government need to fund the gap now to save jobs and services.
What has been done thus far and what can you do
The ASU has written to local MP’s requesting a meeting with a delegation of ASU members from the sector to discuss their concerns and the details of the Fund the Gap- Mental Health Matters campaign. Several meetings have already taken place with Ms. Lidia Thorpe (Northcote), Ms. Samantha Ratnam (Leader of the Greens), Ms. Mary Ann Thomas (Macedon), Ms Marlene Kairouz (Kororit), Ms Christine Couzens (Geelong), Mr. Tim Richardson (Mordialloc) and Mr. Nick Staikos (Bentleigh) and have been well received. You can keep up to speed with how these meetings are progressing by joining the Facebook group, link provided below.
There are also several meetings set up for the coming weeks between Mr. Robin Scott (Preston), Ms. Bronwyn Half Penny (Thomastown), Ms Sonya Kilkenny (Carrum) and Mr. Richard Wynne (Richmond). If you would like to get more involved and volunteer to lobby your local MP please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details, employer and postcode so we can co-ordinate.
Like and share the Fund the Gap FB page now: www.facebook.com/groups/FundtheGap/
Fund the Gap – Mental Health Matters Petition
We have hit over 1000 signatures on the Petition! Thank you to everyone who has signed on, if you are yet to do so, it only takes a few minutes- just follow the link! https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/fund-the-gap-mental-health-matters
The ASU will be ramping up our action-stay tuned for next steps!