A record investment in child and adolescent mental health by the NSW Nationals in the state government will ensure thousands of children and teenagers have access to specialised care.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor announced funding for 25 Safeguards Child and Adolescent Mental Health Response Teams will be included in the 2021-2022 NSW State Budget.
The funding package will enhance specialist child and adolescent mental health services in every Local Health District over the next four years.
This new model of care will be launched with an initial $18 million investment, with a total of $109.5 million allocated over the next four years.
Mrs Taylor said the ‘Safeguards’ teams will provide community-based support to help children, teens, and their families coordinate all aspects of their care.
“This is a game changer in addressing mental health for children and teenagers.
It’s all about bringing the right care at the right time and in the right place to children, adolescents and their loved ones,” said Mrs Taylor.
“These clinicians will work with patients and their families for 6-8 weeks providing wraparound support at home and school as well as facilitating access to follow-up care as required.
“These teams will then transition the patients into longer term mental health community-based supports.”
Skilled child and adolescent mental health clinicians will also help families in coordinating other aspects of their children’s mental health needs by linking them with appropriate services as needed such as GPs, private psychiatrists, headspace centres, education and vocational supports, NDIS providers, youth organisations or other needs such as housing providers.