$61 M is available to provide early intervention and intensive support to young people affected by mental illness.
Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to establish new Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) to provide early intervention and intensive support to vulnerable children and young people affected by mental illness and their families.
It is anticipated the roll-out of new services will occur in June 2013 and April/May 2014. New Family Mental Health Support Services will need to be fully operational six months after signing a Funding Agreement. Successful service providers will be required to work closely with FaHCSIA and participate in evaluation activities during the life of the Funding Agreement.
The Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program (TCC Program or the Program) commenced in 2006 following a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement to a whole-of-government approach to mental health. The original measures (over five years to 2010–11) are now fully implemented and the three activities under the program are well established and achieving good outcomes for people with mental illness, their families and carers.
The three Activities funded under the TCC Program are:
- Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs)
- Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS), and
- Family Mental Health Support Services(FMHSS)
The TCC Program is contributing towards the Government’s mental health agenda, by providing services that are designed around the support needs of people with mental illness, their families and carers, and that work together to help people with a mental illness live well in their communities.
New Family Mental Health Support Services are Family Mental Health Support Services funded through the 2011–12 Budget, and established from 2012.
New Family Mental Health Support Services provide flexible and responsive services for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are at risk of, or affected by mental illness, and their families.
New Family Mental Health Support Services work with children, young people and families to identify risk factors or issues which may lead to poor mental health outcomes later in life and work with the child, or young person and their family to address these issues, and strengthen protective or positive factors.
New Family Mental Health Support Services operate in close cooperation with and with other family and children’s services and with the local network of “first to know” agencies such as schools, early childhood centres and child welfare agencies which are vital in identifying at-risk children or young people. New Family Mental Health Support Services deliver a community-based support service, focused on early intervention to improve mental health outcomes for children and young people at risk or affected by mental illness and their carers and families.
Each New Family Mental Health Support Services service provides three levels of support to vulnerable children, young people and their families:
- Intensive, long term, early interventions specifically for children and young people, and practical whole-of-family assistance to improve the long-term outcomes for vulnerable children and young people at risk of, or affected by, mental illness. This can include targeted therapeutic group work.
- Information and referral for families requiring short-term immediate assistance, and
- Community outreach, mental health promotion/education and community development activities to increase local capacity to understand and respond to children or young people and their families/carers.
As at January 2013 there were 52 Family Mental Health Support Services operating in geographically defined sites across Australia. Thirteen of the 40 New Family Mental Health Support Services announced in the 2011-12 Budget were funded from mid-2012, including two remote services. This round of funding will establish a further 20 New Family Mental Health Support Services.
Family Mental Health Support Services provide early intervention support to assist vulnerable families with children and young people who are at risk of, or affected by,mental illness. These services support parents to reduce family stress and enable children and young people to reach their potential.
The objective of the TCC Program is to implement community mental health initiatives to assist people with mental illness and their families and carers to manage the impact of mental illness. The TCC Program will provide accessible, responsive, high-quality and integrated community mental health services that improve the lives of people with severe mental illness, provide support for families and carers of people with a mental illness, and intervene early to assist families with children and young people affected by, or at risk of,mental illness.
The Australian Government has committed $61 million over five years to 30 June 2016 to expand the Family Mental Health Support Services initiative.
Funding is available to establish New Family Mental Health Support Services in the coverage areas below.
Service Coverage Area/s – Local Government Areas of:
|New South Wales||Fairfield||Fairfield|
|Dubbo/Wellington||Dubbo and Wellington|
|East Gippsland||East Gippsland|
|Greater Dandenong||Greater Dandenong|
|La Trobe||La Trobe|