Securing Tasmania's Future by Transforming Tasmania's Mental Health and Wellbeing

A Majority Liberal Government Will:

  • Invest an additional $56 million to continue our transformation of Tasmania’s mental health system, alcohol and drug treatment system and improve the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians.
  • Deliver better mental health services, so Tasmanians can get the right care, at the right time, with an additional investment of $26 million on top of the $41.2 million announced in March 2021 to fully fund our fundamental shift in the delivery of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
  • Invest $10 million of new funding into alcohol and drug treatment services.
  • Prioritise prevention and early intervention, and empower Tasmanians to improve their own health and wellbeing, with a major investment of $20 million.

The Tasmanian Liberals want to ensure Tasmanians can get the right care, at the right time.

We are committed to building a best-practice, integrated model of mental health services across the State.

Our Mental Health Reform Program was informed by the recommendations of an expert Taskforce, with input from clinicians for inpatient and community mental health services, GPs, peak bodies and importantly, those who have lived experience with the mental health system in Tasmania.

We are continuing to roll out new mental health services including:

  • A Hospital Avoidance Program.
  • The 12-bed Mental Health Hospital in the Home in the south.
  • Expanded Statewide Mental Health Services community teams.
  • New permanent lived experience positions.
  • Expanded Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

A two-year trial of the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative to link clinical psychosocial rehabilitation supports and alcohol and drug services with stable housing and supported accommodation is currently being evaluated, and we will look to expand this initiative more broadly if deemed successful.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government launched the 10-year Reform Agenda for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in Tasmania in 2020.

We have made a record investment into this sector with an estimated 61,000 alcohol and drug treatment sessions now occurring each year across government and community-delivered services, and we will continue to do more.

The Tasmanian Liberals also recognise how important it is to strengthen the focus on prevention and early intervention to encourage Tasmanians to value their physical health.

Through our Healthy Tasmania 5 Year Strategic Plan we have prioritised addressing the State’s major illnesses and chronic diseases.

The outcomes are improving, with fewer young people taking up smoking, dropping from 16 per cent in 2011 to 8 per cent in 2018. But there is more to do.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will:

Provide an additional $26 million to deliver better mental health services

The Tasmanian Liberals are taking a best-practice approach to building a contemporary, integrated model of mental health care, so people can get more holistic support.

Our $26 million in new funding will deliver:

  • $8.5 million over two years for a Mental Health Hospital in the Home pilot in the north-west. This will enable people, who may have otherwise been hospitalised, to receive intensive, short-term support in their own home. The southern service has been positively evaluated, with 190 Tasmanians supported in its first year and high satisfaction ratings from them and their families or carers.
  • $500,000 to commence the roll-out of Rethink 2020. Tasmania’s new overarching mental health plan will include suicide prevention initiatives. We are learning more all the time about suicide, and through the Tasmanian Suicide Register, we are able to deliver more targeted suicide prevention initiatives. We will also update Tasmania’s Suicide Prevention Strategies, including our first Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, with community consultation. In our first 100 days, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will release an implementation plan for Rethink 2020.
  • $5.1 million over two years to pilot an Emergency Mental Health Co-Response Team model to be established in southern Tasmania by the end of 2021. The Co-Response Team will comprise mental health workers, including clinicians, who will travel with police and ambulance officers to attend mental health-specific Triple 000 calls. Secondary triage clinicians will be tasked with specialist mental health triage to support Police and Ambulance dispatch officers.

    This new service to meet growing demand is based on the successful PACER model in the ACT which resulted in 80 per cent of people seen by the PACER team being able to stay in the community, only 12 per cent of people required transport to the Emergency Department compared to 56 per cent previously. Further, 80 per cent of people seen by the PACER team did not re-present to any emergency service within the following 2 weeks.

    This initiative will deliver better outcomes for Tasmanians, increase the capacity of Police and Ambulance to respond, and reduce hospitalisations and restrictive practices. In our first 100 days, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will commence, through an inter-agency Mental Health Co-Response Reference Group, developing the operational service model for the pilot.
  • $1.9 million over three years to deliver a Peer Workforce Coordinator and establish the Youth Peer Worker model as part of the Tasmanian Peer Workforce Development Strategy – so people living with mental health challenges can have the support of a person who has recovered from their own personal experience, to provide advice and hope to consumers and carers on their own mental health journeys. In our first 100 days, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will appoint the new Peer Workforce Coordinator.
  • $2.25 million over two years to boost community mental health services to meet increasing demand, including –
    - Rural Alive and Well, for more outreach focusing on older Tasmanians.- Baptcare’s Choices program to provide high intensity support for severe and persistent needs in the community.- The Butterfly Foundation to recruit peer workers to support Tasmanians living with eating disorders.
  • $7.83 million over three years to continue and expand innovative new services put in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including – - Increasing the capacity of a “Tasmanian Lifeline” to deliver a mental health phone triage service. - Expansion of the Mental Health Council of Tasmania’s Check In website to provide one-stop advice and information, including mental health education and awareness resources. - Building the capacity of communities to look after their mental wellbeing by training and supporting Regional Coordinators and Community Engagers to engage with, and target, mental health literacy initiatives through local government, clubs and community groups, with a particular focus on youth and older Tasmanians; and, - Increasing the capacity of Rural Alive and Well to provide more outreach mental health services in rural and remote areas of the State.
  • The Tasmanian Liberals will, in consultation with stakeholders, develop a framework to support the introduction of therapeutic farming as a hospital avoidance initiative in the context of the Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program.

    We acknowledge the benefits of animal assisted therapy as an alternative, evidence-based support option, currently utilised within Statewide Mental Health Services. Innovative services based in the community such as animal assisted therapy and therapeutic farming practices through supervised, structured programs have been successful in the UK, Europe and USA.

Invest $41.2 million to fully fund a fundamental shift in the delivery of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

This significant boost in funding for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) was announced in March, and will ensure young Tasmanians can receive the best possible mental health care.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will:

  • Establish state-wide leadership roles to guide the changing service and facilitate a single unified CAMHS, and to ensure a consistent service response across Tasmania.
  • Change models of care to realign services to build stronger partnerships with community and government-delivered services, such as engaging more closely with school nurses.
  • Establish two highly specialised intensive mental health intervention and consultation services for children and young people on an interim or finalised child protection order.
  • Establish two Youth Early Intervention Services focusing on early recognition and treatment for young people. Key elements of the service will include flexible access for assessment and treatment and assertive outreach.
  • Establish eating disorders day programs.
  • Establish a state-wide Youth Forensic Mental Health Service.
  • Secure appropriate contemporary facilities for community outpatient services.
  • Increase the capacity of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service to provide coverage to the North and North West of the State.

In addition, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government has already committed to:

  • A new Mental Health Precinct by 2027 as part of the $580 million Launceston General Hospital redevelopment.
  • $40 million for the first stage of a new Mental Health Precinct to be completed in 2025, adjacent to the North West Regional Hospital, to replace the ageing Spencer Clinic.
  • $3.82 million to provide free access to speech pathologists, psychologists and social workers in every Child and Family Learning Centre.
  • $6 million to provide individual trauma support for an additional 100 Government school students every year.
  • $2 million to roll out professional development training to every teacher and teacher aide in Government schools to support the learning of young people impacted by mental health issues and trauma.
  • $750,000 to extend the Stay ChatTY Schools Program in Government schools.
  • $300,000 to recruit a locally-based mental health specialist for the Circular Head region, providing mental health counselling and outreach, as well as suicide awareness and prevention, with a focus on young people.

Our Plan to Transform Tasmania’s Mental Health System is in addition to the $160 million already being delivered in mental health, including:

  • 27 new mental health beds and 2 integration hubs providing co-located community-based services in the south, including –
    • The Peacock Centre redevelopment, to be completed in 2022 with 12 short-term recovery beds and an integration hub.
    • St John’s Park new build, to be completed in 2023 with 15 short-term recovery beds and an integration hub.
  • Additional staff across the State.
  • More funding to assist the community mental health sector to meet demand.
  • Delivered mental health safe facilities for children and young people at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Invest a significant $10 million into alcohol and drug treatment services

The Tasmanian Liberals will continue to increase access to services for alcohol and drug addiction in our local communities.

We are delivering on our 10-year Reform Agenda for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in Tasmania to provide timely support and treatment for those impacted by alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs use.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will invest $10 million in additional funding to support:

  • 65 Residential rehabilitation beds State-wide ensuring there is help for those seeking to detox and requiring counselling and education with $7.46 million over two years to the Salvation Army, City Mission and Velocity Transformations.
  • The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) with $450,000 to employ a fixed term AOD Reform Agenda Project Officer for three years. This position will support the roll out of the Government’s Reform Agenda for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in Tasmania and increase the capacity of the ATDC to establish a long-anticipated Consumer Representative Body.
  • The Drug Education Network (DEN) with an additional $225,000 over one year to address the ongoing COVID-19 impact and increased demand for resources and education. This will enable the DEN to meet a substantial increase in demand for education sessions, resources and training, including providing online options. DEN also support our School Health Nurses and many other organisations in the community.
  • The highly regarded Holyoake Gottawanna program with $600,000 over two years for counselling and support for individuals dealing with alcohol, drug and other addictions.
  • Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s GoodSports program, with $930,000 over two years to work at a grassroots level with local sporting clubs about drugs and alcohol.
  • The Salvation Army Street Teams with $400 000 over two years to provide support and help to those in need out on a Friday and Saturday night. This service helps to alleviate unnecessary pressure on Tasmania Police and our hospitals on weekend evenings.

In addition, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government has already committed to:

  • $5 million to expand the health hub at TasTAFE’s Alanvale site, with a new facility to deliver alcohol and drugs, youth and mental health training, as the foundation of a new Centre of Excellence.
  • $1 million to recruit an additional five therapeutic staff within the Prison to provide drug and alcohol intervention programs over two years.

As part of our Reform Agenda the Liberal Government is already delivering:

  • Ten new alcohol and drug sector Allied Health Professional clinical staff employed around the State.
  • Detox in the Home as a `virtual unit’ of both the Inpatient Withdrawal Management Unit and Royal Hobart Hospital, to provide safe alcohol withdrawal support for patients in their home.
  • A new Alcohol and Drug Emergency Department Brief Intervention Team providing acute screening and brief interventions to patients identified with alcohol and/or other drug use issues.
  • A Homeless Consult and Liaison Outreach initiative providing alcohol and drug and mental health support through Bethlehem House, the Hobart Women’s Shelter, and Housing Tasmania.

Prioritise prevention and early intervention, and empower Tasmanians to improve their own health and wellbeing, with a major investment of $20 million

Taking effective action to prevent ill-health is a key focus of the Tasmanian Liberals’ health agenda.

We recognise how important it is to strengthen the focus on prevention and early intervention to encourage Tasmanians to value their physical health, as well as their wellbeing and mental health.

Further, by focusing on preventative health we can reduce pressures on the health system into the future and help Tasmanians enjoy happier, healthier and longer lives.

We remain committed to the aspirational goal of Tasmania having the healthiest population in Australia by 2025. We should aim for nothing less, however we recognise it will take a concerted and collaborative effort to make this happen.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will work with communities and stakeholders to get broad agreement on what constitutes a healthy population and develop clear measurements, allowing us to track our progress.

This commitment signals a strong focus on these critical areas and is consistent with our Tasmania Statement pledge to work across Government and our communities on shared health priorities that will make a long-term difference.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide a major new investment of $20 million to deliver:

  • $4.5 million to trial three Tasmanian Community Health and Wellbeing Networks, an innovative new approach in partnership with Health Consumers Tasmania, to empower communities to improve their health literacy and awareness, and coordinate place based preventative health initiatives.

    The first Community Health and Wellbeing networks will be in Ulverstone, Huonville and Scottsdale. These will be managed in the local communities through the employment of a Local Health Connector, to deliver community-led health and wellbeing services focused on the needs of local people and using local community resources.

    This will also enable communities to have a stronger voice and say in what services are needed locally.
  • $1.4 million* for an expanded school lunch pilot with 30 schools over the next two years, to encourage healthy eating and support better student learning outcomes. Dietician support will be provided through Public Health, grants will be provided for participating schools to purchase kitchen equipment, base funding for food security organisations will be increased for schools to access food, and additional funding will be provided to the Tasmanian School Canteen Association for schools to develop their own food plans and healthy lunch program. In our first 100 days a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will identify the first 15 schools to take part in 2022.
  • $10 million for the next Healthy Tasmania 5-year Strategic Plan, our preventative health and wellbeing plan which will be launched within six months of a re-elected Majority Liberal Government.We will continue to prioritise reducing smoking, healthy eating and physical activity, improving mental health and wellbeing, community connections, chronic conditions screening and management, and improving mental health and wellbeing.We will also continue our focus in working across government and with local communities, and identifying new ways of working together to reduce social and economic factors that influence poor health outcomes. The plan will build on the strengths, successes and numerous initiatives of the first Healthy Tasmania phase, to continue to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.
  • More than $9 million to support community-based programs and initiatives which encourage good health and wellbeing. A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will continue the successful Healthy Tasmania Fund grants program with $8 million over four years to help local communities and councils implement projects and initiatives that strengthen community connection and help people live happy, healthy lives. Funding of up to $200,000 is available for organisations, with previous projects including fitness fun for seniors, healthy communities mentoring, nutrition, and physical activity and wellbeing programs, tailored to meet the needs of local communities. Additional funding will be provided to expand successful existing programs with strong community support, including:
    - $400,000 over three years for the Heart Foundation’s popular Walking program.- $800,000 over two years for Diabetes Tasmania’s telephone COACH program for type 2 diabetes, which will involve a focus on women following gestational diabetes, and those with other related heart and lung concerns.In our first 100 days a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will distribute this funding so these important organisations can get on with implementing the changes needed for the health benefit of locals.
  • $1 million for a new Youth Smoking Prevention Package targeting potential young smokers before they light up for the first time. This is the best way to create a smoke-free generation.We will invest $1 million over the next four years to develop and implement an evidence-based prevention package targeted specifically at children and young people from Year 6 and up. Close collaboration between the Department of Health and the Department of Education will ensure we have in place the most effective resources and approaches targeting young people from all backgrounds at risk of smoking, but with the flexibility to be tailored to the needs of individual school communities. In our first 100 days in Government we will bring key stakeholders together to determine the best way to progress this new funding.

It is estimated that across all Government agencies more than $70 million is invested in preventative health initiatives.

We will continue to encourage active and healthy lifestyles to support wellbeing through a range of other initiatives across Government. These include:

  • Supporting the Towards Zero Action Plan 2020-2024;
  • $500 000 over three years for Reclink to support at risk and disadvantaged Tasmanians to enjoy sporting activities.
  • $6 million program of new cycle paths connecting Council to State-owned cycle infrastructure;
  • Supporting the Ride2School program through the Road Safety Levy;
  • $10 million for the Improving the Playing Field grants program (2021-22);
  • $3 million over three years for additional funding for the Ticket to Play voucher program to provide $200 vouchers for children and young people up to age 18; and

In addition, the Liberal Government is already delivering:

  • Launched the first $6.4 million Healthy Tasmania 5-Year Strategic Plan in 2016.
  • $2.17 million in Healthy Tasmania Fund grants to 25 local health and wellbeing projects distributed in 2019-20, extending that to wellbeing and mental-health related projects in 2020-21.

Our record in Government:

  • Established the Mental Health Integration Taskforce to improve integration of mental health services.
  • New Mental Health Inpatient Unit and Mental Health Short Stay Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
  • New mental health safe beds for children and adolescents at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
  • Delivered the first Mental Health Hospital in the Home beds (12).
  • Partnership with the Butterfly Foundation to recruit eating disorders peer workers.
  • Piloting the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative – providing housing with linked mental health support.
  • Released the Tasmanian Peer Workforce Development Strategy.
  • $4 million for the COVID-19 mental health support package.
  • Delivered the first ever Report on Suicide in Tasmania to inform future suicide prevention initiatives.
  • Released the updated Rethink 2020 mental health plan for Tasmania, in collaboration with Primary Health Tasmania.
  • Completed a comprehensive review of the Mental Health Act.
  • Released Tasmania’s Suicide Prevention Strategies, including Tasmania’s first ever Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy.
  • Launched the first Healthy Tasmania 5 Year Strategic Plan.
  • $1 million through the Community Innovations Grants in 2018, and distributed $1.4 million in 2019 under the Healthy Tasmania Fund.
  • Established the Premier’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Council.
  • Signed the Tasmania Statement, committing to preventative health work across the whole of Government.
  • Launched the 10-year Reform Agenda for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in Tasmania.
  • Created a new Cabinet Ministry for Mental Health and Wellbeing.


This policy is costed at $56 million over four years.

*Costed under another policy.