Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting the mental health sector to transition to DisabilityCare

The Gillard Government is providing $440,000 to the Mental Health Council of Australia through the DisabilityCare Australia Sector Development Fund to assist people with mental illness and their service providers make the transition to DisabilityCare.

The Government established the $122.6 million Sector Development Fund to help prepare the disability and community sector for the launch of DisabilityCare Australia.

The new funding for the Mental Health Council of Australia will support them to build the capacity of people with mental illness to take part in DisabilityCare Australia.

The Mental Health Council will engage with people with mental illness to help them understand what DisabilityCare will mean for them and to build their skills in areas such as goal-based planning, self-advocacy and working directly with service providers.

Importantly, this work will include developing strategies to target the needs of people from culturally diverse backgrounds and Indigenous people.

The Mental Health Council will also engage closely with the mental health services sector to develop ways to best support community mental health providers and other providers of psychosocial disability services during the rollout of DisabilityCare Australia. This will include a scoping project to identify the workforce development needs in the sector.

From 1 July this year, DisabilityCare Australia will be a reality for thousands of people with disability, their families and carers in four launch sites across the country – the Hunter region in New South Wales, the Barwon area in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. The scheme will launch in the Australian Capital Territory and the Barkly region in the Northern Territory in 2014.

When the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019 around 460,000 Australians with disability will get the support they deserve.

The Gillard Government has invested an additional $14.3 billion over seven years in this year’s budget to roll out DisabilityCare Australia across the country. This unprecedented long term funding will provide people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers the certainty they deserve.