Independent Member for the Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley to include her electorate in a recently announced funding boost.
On Sunday, the Minister and Premier Daniel Andrews announced an additional $59.4 million to assist Victorians struggling with mental health issues due to the Coronavirus Crisis. The package includes $17.8 million for an additional 170 mental health beds and $7 million to expand “telehealth” mental health services.
While thanking the government for the extra-funding, Ms Sheed raised concerns over how it would be allocated.
“It is clear from the figures that there is an unprecedented number of people seeking mental health support as they work through the lock-down period,” Ms Sheed said.
In a letter sent to the Minister on Tuesday, Ms Sheed called for part of the funding to be directed to her electorate with recent consultations and inquiries finding the need in the Shepparton District was overwhelming.
“You will be aware from the round tables in Shepparton and the evidence before the Royal Commission into mental health services that my region has a great need for improvement in services with a significant lack of mental health beds being readily available within the region,” Ms Sheed wrote.
“I would be grateful if you could provide me with information in relation to this package of additional funding, what services within the Shepparton region you anticipate will benefit by it and how I may be engaged in working with agencies to ensure that their needs are taken into consideration by this funding boost.”
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