For most of us, today is an Easter Sunday unlike any that we’ve experienced before. The streets are quieter, fewer place settings are at the table, and many of us are more physically distant from our extended families and friends than we would like to be.
For many members of the HACSU community, however, today is very much business as usual: at work, providing vital care and support to people in need.
We thank you for your service to the Victorian community.
This morning, there were two major announcements from the State Government. The first, which was largely expected, extended Victoria’s current State of Emergency for a further four weeks, until 11 May 2020.
The second announcement was from Victoria’s Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, who announced details of a $59.4 million funding package aimed at strengthening mental health services in the state during (and in response to) the Coronavirus pandemic.
We’ll provide a full update to our members working in mental health on the details of this funding announcement on Tuesday. For now, some of the key points of this announcement include:
We’re also pleased to see extra funding and support is being made available to the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council, and our friends at Tandem.
Today’s funding announcement is a prescient reminder that the longer-term social and mental health impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic will be with us all for a long time. We are glad to see Minister Foley and the State government taking the first of many steps that will be needed over the months and years to come to support Victorians to recover and rebuild their lives.
Today’s announcement is also an implicit reminder that we will come through this current crisis; and that when we do, our community of dedicated healthcare workers will play a central part in rebuilding Victorian society. It’s a reminder that better days lie ahead, and that we will emerge from this crisis together, in union, side by side, and full of hope for a brighter future.
Paul, Kate, and a small team of HACSU staff are working today; responding to urgent calls and questions from our members. We’ll be doing the same tomorrow, before the full office reopens on Tuesday morning. If you need to speak to us before Tuesday, we are here for you. Leave us a voicemail message or send us an email through firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as quickly as we possibly can.
Whether you’re at work, or at home; whether or not you’re celebrating Easter- on behalf of the HACSU community, we wish you, your families, and your loved ones a day of peace, happiness, and hope.
Paul Healey, State Secretary
Kate Marshall, Assistant State Secretary