New Victorian mental health support announced on Tuesday will assist a system that's been overwhelmed for years, a leading advocate says.
Professor Patrick McGorry said the government's $22 million package would be "a stepping stone" for the future.
"There's a big task ahead, it's not going to be a total solution, but it will set the scene for progress next year as the royal commission starts to take root in the community," he said.
Mental Health Minister James Merlino said $13.3 million would deliver 20 pop-up community mental health services, eight of which would be located in regional centres.
About 90 dedicated clinicians would provide 93,000 additional hours of wellbeing checks and counselling to many thousands of Victorians needing support.
Professor McGorry, speaking at the government's daily briefing, said the announcement recognised "the urgency of the situation".
"The issues that people are raising about hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID cases - that's our daily life in mental health, it always has been," he said.
"With young people in particular being turned away on a daily basis from emergency departments in life-threatening situations."
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He also welcomed an expansion of the Triple P parenting programs.
"This approach today is a whole of life span, but the people that are really suffering today are the young people and their parents," he said.
"Young people can't survive and flourish unless the scaffolding around them is strong and able to cope."
Mr Merlino said the government knew the COVID-19 pandemic had increased immediate demand for mental health services.
"Our local communities have been so vital in supporting us over the past 18 months - and these innovative local pop-up mental health services will deliver the support people need, close to home," he said.
EARLIER: Two Victorians with COVID-19 have died, health authorities reported on Tuesday morning.
The state recorded 445 new local cases and no cases acquired overseas, with 129 of the local cases linked to known cases and outbreaks.
There were 36,615 vaccines administered and 42,694 test results received.
Reported yesterday: 445 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) September 13, 2021
- 36,615 vaccines administered
- 42,694 test results received
- Sadly, two people with COVID-19 have died
More later: https://t.co/eUcG50Y3T0#COVID19Vic#COVID19VicData [1/2] pic.twitter.com/BUjGKZWPBP
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Treasure Tim Pallas, speaking in Monday's daily briefing, said the younger, more mobile nature of the building workforce meant going beyond the requirements for normal COVID compliance.
"To support the construction industry, we'll release 20,000 priority Pfizer appointments over the next week and unlimited access to AstraZeneca to all construction workers," he said.
Mr Pallas said about 50 teams would be out and about each day inspecting construction sites and penalty notices and prohibition orders would be issued if required.
Digital incoming passenger cards, which include vaccination status, will be rolled out to airports around the country by the end of the year, paving the way for a border reopening.
The federal government announced on Monday it had issued a contract to international IT company Accenture to deliver the latest iteration of the digital passenger declaration.
It will replace the paper-based form and COVID-19 declaration web form and will be available for passengers coming to Australia up to 72 hours before boarding their flight.
A Melbourne school at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak will be questioned amid claims it was operating at full capacity despite tough lockdown restrictions.
Meanwhile after some confusion on Monday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian denied the unvaccinated would have their freedoms restored at 80 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage in NSW, saying policy was still being finalised.
- with JANINE GRAHAM
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