Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Psychosocial Support

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:12): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, regarding psychosocial support.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: I have been in discussions with a number of mental health services and advocacy groups. All indicate the need for better implementation of psychosocial support for people experiencing mental illness. Psychosocial support includes recovery planning, support to live independently, assistance to manage a tenancy, assistance to manage health and emotional wellbeing, as well as support to get involved in your local community.

Housing and support programs are also important, and a number of states are starting to increase their investment in these. We have the Housing and Accommodation Support Partnership here in South Australia but, given the housing crisis, I would expect the government to have plans to expand this program. The Mental Health Coalition found that having a community-based psychosocial support would reduce hospitalisation and bed days by 62 per cent. Fifteen per cent of people who are discharged are back in hospital within 28 days, putting a strain on the already burdened health system.

I note that the current government made mental health a priority; however, I cannot find any evidence of funding for psychosocial support services in the budget for the next four years. My questions to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, are:

1. Knowing that psychosocial supports will reduce our ramping crisis and demand on emergency departments, does the government have plans to invest more in community psychosocial supports?

2. Given the worsening housing crisis and the effectiveness of programs that coordinate housing and psychosocial support, does the government have plans to increase investment in the Housing and Accommodation Support Partnership?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:14): I thank the honourable member for her questions and I will be happy to refer them to the Minister for Health, as she has indicated is the responsible minister, and bring back a reply.