The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is investing $1 million over two years for a pilot program that provides Tasmanians living with mental health issues with better clinical and psychosocial rehabilitation supports, linked with stable housing and supported accommodation.
The pilot is based on a very successful program in New South Wales, which found that when housing was linked to appropriate clinical and rehabilitation support, people were better able to overcome the often debilitating effects of mental illness and live more independent lives.
The evaluation of the New South Wales program also found that around 90 per cent of participants were successfully maintaining their tenancies, their mental health was improving, and they were spending less time in hospital, and this is what we also hope to achieve by trialling the service in southern Tasmania.
A steering committee comprising senior personnel from the Department of Health, Housing Tasmania and Colony 47 is overseeing the Housing and Accommodating Support Initiative, with Colony 47 co-designing and implementing elements of the new service to ensure the program meets the needs of consumers.
It is important that mental health is not viewed in isolation and we know that Tasmanians struggling with a mental illness are often also dealing with other major issues such as unstable accommodation. If we want to prevent a cycle of illness and relapse and have better patient outcomes, we need to look more closely at how we can better integrate services so that people can get more holistic support.
Psychosocial staff have commenced work and the pilot will start seeing clients in the coming weeks.