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National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework 2021

4.1 Current arrangements

Local governments:

  • • have responsibilities for public health.

State and territory governments:

  • • deliver public acute and psychiatric hospital services or specialist units as well as a wide range of community and public mental health services;
  • • provide general health care that people with mental illness need (including hospitals); and
  • • fund community and social programs such as supported accommodation, domestic and family violence services, and children’s services.

The Australian Government funds:

  • • mental health-related services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;
  • • Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to work closely with state and territory Local Hospital Districts (LHDs) on regional planning and service provision; and
  • • community programs which support people experiencing mental illness as well as those grappling with other life challenges affecting personal and family wellbeing. These include telephone and digital crisis lines, crisis support services, and regionally specific and/or innovative services focused on specific populations or needs. It also includes income support, social and community support, and disability services.

The private sector:

  • • provides services funded in part by government and in part through private health insurance. These include clinically focused services such as the provision of assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and counselling and psychotherapy.

The non-government sector:

  • • provides services funded through government or privately. These range from general social support and wellbeing programs, such as neighbourhood centres and family support services, to community-based support for people who live with a mental illness.