Expansion of ACT housing and homelessness services will benefit mental health and wellbeing

Media Release

February 3, 2021 – For Immediate Release

The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCC ACT) welcomes the commitment from the ACT Government to invest $18 million over 4 years toward the expansion of specialist homelessness services.

‘Secure housing is vital to peoples’ mental health and wellbeing and their ability to contribute to their community’, says Leith Felton-Taylor, Acting CEO, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT.

This investment will see improvements to services, emergency support and advocacy, with MHCC ACT member organisation, ACT Shelter, playing a pivotal role. It will support persons with complex needs and provide appropriate secure, long-term accommodation.

Minister for Homelessness and Housing, Rebecca Vassarotti says “Everyone needs a home. Secure housing that meets people’s needs is fundamental to their wellbeing, and the wellbeing of our community as a whole.”

Minister Vassarotti goes on to say, “The ACT’s homelessness and housing services help to ensure all Canberrans, no matter what difficulties they’re facing, can be safe, healthy and feel a part of this community.”

Limitations around current housing affordability, quality, service delivery and tenancy support negatively impact those with psychosocial disabilities and mental health issues.

MHCC ACT urges mental health to be an integral part of discussion, planning and implementation of housing and homelessness initiatives in both the ACT and nationally.

Leith Felton-Taylor states, “To get the most from this investment we need to take a ‘housing first’ approach for people with psychosocial disability – they need wrap around services to help them maintain their tenancy, recover and live their best life.”

Onelink, another MHCC ACT member organisation service, is also receiving an injection of $450,000 to provide further tenancy and client support services.

To find out more about MHCC ACT’s position on mental health and housing, visit: https://www.mhccact.org.au/advocacy

To find out more about the ACT Government’s commitment, head to: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/barr/2021/expanding-homelessness-and-housing-services

Further questions and inquiries can be made to the Acting MHCC ACT CEO, details below.

Media Contact: Leith Felton-Taylor, Acting Chief Executive Officer 

(02) 5104 7715,  Leith.Felton-Taylor@mhccact.org.au

Communications Officer: Alison Hall, (02) 5104 7711, Alison.Hall@mhccact.org.au

MHCC ACT is the peak body for community mental health services in the ACT. 

Find out more about MHCC ACT at www.mhccact.org.au.