Mental health funding boost needed in Shepparton says Sheed

By Morgan Dyer

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has called on the Victorian Government to boost mental health services in Shepparton.

In light of the coronavirus, Health Minister Martin Foley and Premier Daniel Andrews announced an additional $59.4 million to assist Victorians struggling with mental health issues.

The package includes $17.8 million for an additional 170 mental health beds and $7 million to expand telehealth mental health services.

However, Ms Sheed raised concerns over how the cash would be allocated and called for part of the funding to be directed to the Shepparton region.

“It is clear from the figures that there is an unprecedented number of people seeking mental health support as they work through the lockdown period,” she said.

Ms Sheed wrote to the minister on Tuesday asking how the package would benefit Greater Shepparton.

“You will be aware from the round tables in Shepparton and the evidence before the royal commission into mental health services that my region has a great need for improvement in services, with a significant lack of mental health beds being readily available within the region,” she wrote.

“I would be grateful if you could provide me with information in relation to this package of additional funding, what services within the Shepparton region you anticipate will benefit by it and how I may be engaged in working with agencies to ensure that their needs are taken into consideration by this funding boost.”