Members Statement: Community mental health services

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran)  — I rise to show my support for community mental health and for the Fund the Gap — Mental Health Matters! campaign being run the Australian Services Union. Community mental health services are so important to the Prahran electorate. We are a community for everyone that looks after people most in need. We have got two really important providers of mental health services in Prahran: Star Health, formerly Inner South Community Health, and UnitingCare, formerly Prahran Mission. We saw the results of what cuts to community mental health services can do with the recommissioning of mental health funding under the previous Liberal government, which resulted in funding cuts and the closure of the Prahran Mission drop-in centre on Chapel Street, something that is still raised with me by former clients of the centre.

Community mental health services play a critical role in providing services to people experiencing mental illness in our community. They are an effective early intervention to ensure people do not end up in crisis at hospital, in the justice system or homeless. Many people in the Prahran electorate who need these services will not be eligible for national disability insurance scheme funding, meaning they will fall through the cracks if the state government rips $75 million away from community mental health. Prahran is a community that cares about people in need, and I urge the state government to fund the gap in community mental health services and work with our fantastic community mental health workers and services to ensure they can continue to meet the needs of people experiencing mental illness in our community.