The Crossing is a proposal for a new addiction rehabilitation service because we know that one in five Australians will struggle with addiction in their lifetime, with an estimated 3,600 Victorians are on public waiting lists every day.
Unfortunately, we also know that working Victorians are mostly unable to access treatment services due to the cost or time required to be admitted.
With approximately 98% of rehabilitation offered in Victoria being largely in the private sector and without stringent regulation, Unions are often confronted with the stark reality that working Victorians and their families are forced to go through when trying to access this critical healthcare. And this is despite the Andrews’ Labor Government making record investments in mental health and addiction services and doubling the number of public rehabilitation beds across the State.
However, even with such a massive investment, far too many Victorians are still being left without options to seek the treatment they need. This is especially problematic when it can take on average 20 years for someone to seek assistance with their addiction due to shame and stigma.
More can be done to educate the health workforce across all sectors in mental health and services that deal with issues of addiction, which would go a long way to reducing alcohol, drug and gambling related harm.
That’s why Victorian unions, including ours, are working towards establishing a rehabilitation service specifically tailored to the unique requirements of working Victorians and their families. It is hoped that such a service will help address this area of chronic need, and to ensure that working Victorians can access lifesaving services, without having to mortgage their home or take out massive loans.
What’s being proposed is the establishment of a 28-day inpatient treatment facility funded by the trade union movement and business after an initial investment from the Victorian Government coupled with an establishment of an outreach and outpatient service, inclusive of education for delegates, health and safety representatives, organisers and working Victorians from all sectors with the support of trade unions, employers and the government.
The Crossing proposal will also help break the stigma for those Victorians seeking assistance for issues of addiction and together with early intervention will ensure they can receive treatment before they hit rock bottom – losing family, friends, housing, and their employment.
Such a service will also help keep working Victorians struggling with addiction issues connected to their communities and the workforce. And in line with our union values, the proposal commits to dedicating a percentage of the bed stock to the most disadvantaged in our community.
It is a unique opportunity to make significant inroads towards ensuring there are more services that are affordable for Victorians who want to seek treatment for their addiction.
We’re proud to support this proposal and to work with other unions to continue to push for much needed and critical services that benefit working Victorians, reduces the harm from addiction and keeps people connected with their communities and workplaces.
If you want to know more about this innovative initiative visiting the website at https://www.thecrossingvic.org/