A stronger mental health system for Canberrans


The 2022-23 ACT Budget will deliver more services and support in our public mental health system.

Through a funding partnership with the Commonwealth Government, additional investment will be made into a range of support services, from acute mental health treatments through to programs that support the wellbeing of Canberrans. 

The $37.5 million package of investment includes:

  • $14.5 million over four years to strengthen community-based and Canberra Health Services responses for families and young childrenThese services include perinatal mental health screening, enhancing perinatal, infant and child (0-12) mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, expanding the Childhood Early Intervention Team into the Gungahlin Child and Family Centre and establishing a mother and infant dialectical behavioural therapy service.
  • An expansion of mental health support for young people experiencing, or are at risk of mental health concerns, suicide or self-harm.
  • An expansion of suicide prevention programs to include follow-up care following hospital discharge and greater postvention services to assist those who have recently experienced a suicide attempt or suicide crisis.
  • The establishment of a Territory-wide hospital avoidance strategy that will strengthen proactive community-based programs and reduce pressure on hospitals, which are seeing record numbers of mental health patients. This includes continued funding for the Home Assessment Acute Response Team, extending operating hours of the Mental Health Consultation Liaison position at Calvary Hospital Emergency Room, implementing an Adult Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program, and establishing a permanent Homeless Outreach Team. 
  • An extension of the second Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response (PACER) team for a further 12 months.

This significant investment in the public health system and community services acknowledges the stresses and mental health challenges that many Canberrans have experienced throughout the past few years.

Quotes attributable to Chief Minister, Andrew Barr:

We want Canberrans to know that help and support is available when they are experiencing a mental health challenge and crisis.

Health is the largest area of ACT Budget expenditure. Canberrans can trust that we will continue to invest in our healthcare system as our city grows.

I’m pleased that a number of initiatives will be funded through a cost sharing arrangement between the Commonwealth and the ACT. This is a great example of the new era of cooperation between the two Governments.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health, Emma Davidson:

Young Canberrans and their families deserve better access to the support they need to live well across the ACT – so they can go to school, play weekend sport, grow healthy and be connected in their community.

Canberrans have faced a challenging past two years. While this Budget improves access to mental health support for our young people and their families, it also delivers initiatives in the community to support people of all ages. There is a strong focus to improve access to early intervention support so people can get the help they need before reaching a crisis point and continue to stay engaged and connected with their communities.