When will change commence?

This document outlines some of the key steps for implementation of the Australian Government Response to the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.

Page last updated: 15 December 2015

PDF version: When will change commence? (PDF 68 KB)

The Commission's Review acknowledged that a long term commitment to continuing reform would be required to achieve sustained and systemic reform to mental health programmes and services. However, many of the changes proposed within this response are too important to delay.

Some of the key steps for implementation of the Government's response to the Review are provided below.

In 2015-16

  • Programme consolidation will commence to offer the agility and flexibility needed to consolidate and refocus programmes and services.
  • Funded organisations will be given a clear indication by December 2015 of the future of the programme or funding stream from which they are currently funded, including transition arrangements, to provide clarity about future arrangements.
  • PHN sites selected for phased implementation of stepped care approach.
  • Efforts will commence to address the inequitable distribution of access to the mental health nurses to support people with severe illness.
  • The Fifth National Mental Health Plan will be developed with states and territories.

In 2016-17

  • Funding for existing programmes will be transferred to PHNs to form flexible funding pool.
  • Additional funding for indigenous mental health services will start flowing to PHNs.
  • The first stage of the Digital Mental Health Gateway and phone line will begin.
  • 'Opt in' individualised care packages will begin in selected demonstration trial sites.
  • PHNs begin to commission mental health services from the flexible funding pool according to a stepped care model.
  • New approaches to suicide prevention will begin, led by PHNs.
  • Estimated PHN total flexible funding pool = $365m

In 2017-18

  • The new arrangements for suicide prevention will be fully implemented.
  • Demonstration of ‘opt in’ arrangements will be evaluated to inform full roll out.
  • Redesign of primary mental health care programmes to ensure optimal targeting.
  • All regionally delivered primary mental health care grants programmes will be commissioned through PHNs.
  • Estimated PHN Flexible Funding Pool = $370m

In 2018-19

  • New programme arrangements for stepped care will be fully implemented through redesigned primary mental health care services delivered through PHN flexible funding, including new services for young people with severe illness or at risk of such.
  • All regionally delivered primary mental health care grants programmes will be commissioned through PHNs.
  • Estimated PHN Flexible funding pool = $385m

Useful links

The Australian Government response to the review is available at Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.