We know that mental ill-health and addiction are inextricably linked.
However, despite the Victorian Government making landmark investments in the medical side of addiction, there remains a glaring gap in funding for the public alcohol and other drugs sector. Consequently, mental health workers find themselves tackling detox and addiction treatment daily, often without adequate support and in unsuitable environments.
This means that every day, mental health workers are doing their best to detox and treat addiction without support and in inappropriate settings.
Victorians deserve a comprehensive, integrated, and responsive service system. This should be delivered by qualified, skilled, and well-supported mental health and alcohol and other drug practitioners—regardless of whether an individual enters via a Mental Health service or an AOD treatment service.
This pressing need has prompted HACSU to develop our Better Mental Health and AOD Responses plan. Informed by the firsthand experiences of our members, this plan aims for a worker-led transformation in how Victoria addresses alcohol, drugs, and addiction.
For more details, you can review our full plan. This is being presented to Victorian Government MPs today, as part of a day of action on pill testing as an urgent health issue.