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Australia’s first social impact bond for mental health care

Minister for Mental Health supports initiative.

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has launched Australia’s first social impact bond for mental health care, the Resolve Social Benefit Bond (Resolve SBB). SVA is seeking to raise $7 million to fund the Resolve Program in NSW which will be delivered by Flourish Australia, a mental health services provider.

The Resolve Program is a recovery-orientated community support program that is expected to help approximately 530 people over a seven-year service delivery period. Investor returns will be based on the savings generated for the NSW Government, through a reduction in the utilisation of Government-funded health and other services, in particular by reducing the number of days spent in hospital.

The Resolve SBB is targeting returns of 7.5 per cent per annum. The Resolve Program aims to support people who present frequently to emergency departments and spend long periods admitted to mental health inpatient facilities.

The program combines a residential service for periodic crisis care, psychosocial, medical and mental health support, and a support line for after-hours assistance from peers.

SVA CEO Rob Koczkar said, “We are seeing considerable momentum around social impact bonds, with governments across Australia recognising that this is an innovative and impactful way to support some of the more vulnerable members of the community while generating considerable savings for government and returns to investors. Following the recent launch of the Newpin Queensland SBB, the Resolve SBB further highlights the growing interest in this space.”

“The NSW Government was at the forefront of the space when we jointly launched Australia’s first social impact bond in NSW in 2013, and we are encouraged to see the NSW Government continuing to seek new and effective ways to fund solutions to some of the state’s most pressing social problems,” he said.

NSW Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies said, ‘This initiative offers an opportunity for the NSW Government to lead the way in mental health care and work together with the private and non-profit sectors to deliver better outcomes for the people of NSW. The innovative Resolve Social Benefit Bond will help improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing mental illness by better supporting them in the community.”

SVA has already achieved strong results with the Newpin Social Benefit Bond (Newpin SBB) in NSW, which was the first in Australia. The Newpin Program is an intensive centre based program aimed at restoring children in out-of-home-care with their families. The Newpin SBB has already successfully restored 130 children to their families, and delivered a return of 12 per cent per annum to investors over a threeyear period to 30 June 2016.

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