News • 26 Jul 2022

Queensland’s 2022-23 budget is a step in the right direction for mental health

Queensland’s 2022-23 budget is a step in the right direction for mental health

Open Minds welcomes the Queensland Government’s recent budget announcement that pledges $1.645 billion over five years for mental health services, which will be funded by a new mental health levy to commence from 1 January 2023.

This increase in funding is a response to the findings handed down in June through the Inquiry into the opportunities to improve mental health outcomes for Queensland (the Inquiry).

Open Minds Chief Operating Officer, Kate Johnson, believes the budget and the Inquiry are encouraging and important steps towards improving Queensland’s mental health system and reducing the reliance on hospitals for mental health care.

“Those working in the mental health industry are acutely aware that progress for the individual is never linear. Expectations of progress for the sector, however, should be different,” says Kate. “With this insight and commitment from the Queensland Government, we are heading in the right direction.”

Open Minds currently provides support for eligible young people aged 15 to 21 years living at the Gold Coast and Logan through its YOUTH BLOOM Transition Services.

“We’re pleased the needs of young people are being addressed in the budget with additional support for those aged up to 21 years old emerging from care, to prevent negative environmental and personal influences that may arise at a crucial and vulnerable time in their lives.”

“Through our YOUTH BLOOM Transition Services, Open Minds supports young people as they enter adulthood,” Kate explains.  “We see firsthand how supporting them through this time sets them up for success and commend the Queensland Government for recognising this through the budget,” Kate said.

Open Minds also provides support to young people experiencing mental health challenges through its headspace centres at Redcliffe, Indooroopilly and Strathpine, including critical suicide aftercare through The Way Back Support Service.

Other budget highlights include:

  • an additional $28.5 million in capital funding to support Queensland Health’s new five-year plan for mental health, alcohol and other drug services.
  • $2.08 billion budgeted for Queensland’s estimated cash contribution to the NDIS.
  • a pledge of $200,000 to research what support is needed for young Queenslanders who are leaving care. This is in preparation for the Government’s commitment to extend post-care support for people aged 18-21 from the year 2023-24.

The Inquiry, led by Joe Kelly MP as Chair of the Mental Health Select Committee, delivered 57 recommendations in the context of Queensland as a large, diverse and complex state.

Following receipt of 164 submissions, the Inquiry acknowledges the societal and economic breadth and impact of mental health and addiction issues across Queensland. It also acknowledges that implementation of the recommendations will take ongoing commitment from the government and community.  

With over 100 years of experience, Open Minds works to enhance mental health and wellbeing by delivering a range of tailored options and core supports focused on the individual needs of each person. For more information about our services, please visit our website.