Mental health groups face 'funding uncertainty'

MORE than two-thirds of Australia's non-profit mental health groups have lost staff due to continued future "funding uncertainty".

That was the key finding of a survey of mental health agencies and charities by Mental Health Australia, released on Monday.

The sector is facing an uncertain future due to government funding cuts at state and federal levels, while funding for a national agreement on mental health reforms runs out next July.

The survey found 40% of all respondents had already lost staff due to the uncertainty, 46% reported "difficulty attracting new staff" and 85% reported a "loss of trust in government among management and staff".

It also revealed the vast majority, or 91% of those surveyed, reported that if they did not find out about their funding they would need to reduce staff and 88% reported they would need to cut services.

MHA chief executive Frank Quinlan said the results were "worse than we anticipated" and that similar results last year led to 40% of non-profit mental health services being forced to reduce local services.

"We can't have that happening again," he said.

It comes as a review of mental health services is expected to be released.

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