Via the ANCD:
The Abbott Government is to extend funding for two programs that provide support for people with a mental illness and their carers.
The Government says organisations that currently receive funding to provide services under the Personal Helpers and Mentors program will have their contracts extended to 30 June 2016. Funding was due to cease on 30 June 2015 Providers who deliver services under the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support program will also have their funding extended.
The Government says the funding includes more than $136 million from 30 June 2015 to 30 June 2016, extending:
166 PHaMs services in 2015-16, committing more than $82 million; and
197 MHR:CS services in 2015-16, committing more than $54 million.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield said the funding extension will ensure supports are maintained as the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues across the country.
“In 2013-14 Personal Helpers and Mentors services assisted more than 18,500 people severely impacted by mental illness. In the same period the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support services assisted more than 40,400 carers of people severely impacted by mental illness and their families through respite, education and group activities.”
“The Australian Government is committed to supporting people who are severely impacted by mental illness, as well as those who care for them,” Minister Fifield said.
“The extension of these contracts will ensure people living with mental illness and those who care for them can still access these support services.”
The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) program offers one-to-one support to people aged 16 and over who are severely impacted by mental illness.
“To deliver maximum flexibility for PHaMs providers as they prepare to operate in an open market under the NDIS, some funding arrangements may change to adapt to the NDIS model,” Minister Fifield said.
“The Mental Health Respite: Carer Support program helps carers of people with mental illness to improve their wellbeing and enable them to maintain their important caring role.” Minister Fifield said there will be no immediate changes for Mental Health Respite: Carer Support providers. Changes can be expected over time as the transition to NDIS continues, to ensure there are effective supports for families and carers in their caring roles. “This one-year funding extension will help ensure a smooth transition to the NDIS for these services,” Minister Fifield said.