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Helping patients with mental illness and addictions

Helping patients with mental illness and addictions

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The Andrews Government has funded education for Victorian nurses and midwives in ice addiction, and alcohol and other drugs, with free courses delivered in partnership with ANMF (Vic Branch) and Turning Point.

The ‘Ice/methamphetamine addiction seminar’ has been offered in metropolitan and regional Victoria since late 2016, as an outcome of the Premier’s Ice Action Taskforce.

ANMF (Vic Branch) offered a new Andrews Government-funded two-day ‘Alcohol and other drugs’ course for the first time in 2018, with positive feedback from members. Both courses are presented by Turning Point – a national addition treatment, education and research centre.

In its 2018–19 Budget, the Andrews Government provided a record $705 million investment for treating mental illness and addiction, including:

$232 million to support growing demand and fund 89 acute inpatient beds

$101 million to establish emergency department crisis hubs, to take patients dealing with mental health and addiction issues out of emergency departments and give them the specialist care they need

$58.9 million to increase the number of high-care packages for complex clients

$40.6 million for three new regional residential drug rehabilitation treatment facilities in the Barwon, Gippsland and Hume regions.

The Andrews Government also took the bold step of initiating a two-year trial into a medically supervised injecting room at North Richmond Community Health Centre.

The centre, which opened on 30 June 2018, will significantly reduce the risk of people dying by overdose, reduce ambulance call-outs and emergency department presentations and provide a gateway to health and social services for injecting drug users.