Is your party proposing to protect and increase funding for mental health in the upcoming election?
The mental health of Australians is a priority for the Morrison Government. We are doing more than any other previous government to safeguard the mental wellbeing of Australians, providing record funding of $4.8 billion in 2018-19.
The Government is delivering more frontline services that meet the specific needs of local communities through a record $1.45 b¡ll¡on investment in our Primary Health Networks. We are providing long-term support for local psychologists, mental health nurses, and social workers, ensuring that the right services are available in the right place and at the right time.
The Coalition has also:
- expanded the headspace network, boosted headspace services, and established the
Mental Health in Education Initiative with Beyond Blue to provide young Australians with
additional help and support;
- pioneered Medicare telehealth services allowing Australians in rural areas to access care
from their homes;
- expanded free or low-cost digital services, accessible through our new head to health
portal to cater for those who prefer to access support online;
- been the first to fully recognise the need for intensive support for Australians with eating
disorders – the deadliest of all psychiatric illnesses – by creating specific Medicare funded services, a National Helpline, and providing $70.2 million for new residential treatment centres; and
- introduced key reforms such as a Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health,
changes to private health insurance, and innovative models of care such as the
$114.5 million trial of 8 mental health centres.
Investing in mental health and suicide prevention is not a choice, it is a must. The Government will provide $503.1 million for a Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to prevent suicide and promote the mental wellbeing of young Australians. This represents the single largest investment in youth suicide prevention in the country’s history.
The Government is prioritising three key areas as our nation’s best protection against suicide – strengthening the headspace network, Indigenous suicide prevention and early childhood and parenting support.
The Morrison Government is ensuring young people get help where and when needed by investing an additional $375 mill¡on to expand and improve the headspace network. headspace provides youth-friendly services for the challenges facing young Australians: across physical health, alcohol and other drug use, vocational support and mental health.
To strengthen Indigenous youth suicide prevention, we will invest $34.1 million including support for Indigenous leadership that will help our health care system deliver culturally appropriate,trauma-informed care as well as services that recognise the value of community, cultural artistic traditions and protective social factors. Our support includes $19.6 mill¡on for measures to prevent Indigenous youth suicide, particularly in the Kimberley.
To support parents and their children, the Morrison Government will invest $11.8 million in a range of initiatives to help parents recognise when their children are struggling, improve mental health skills training in schools, enhance peer support networks and boost counselling support services for young people.
The Morrison Government will also provide an additional $22.5 million in specific youth and
Indigenous health research projects as part of our $125 million ‘Million Minds Mission’. The Coalition established this ten-year $125 million Mission through the Medical Research Future Fund. lt will unlock key research into the cause of mental health as well as better treatments and therapies.
The Greens believe everyone who experiences mental health issues should have access to the treatment, care, support and recovery that they need. We are committed to protecting existing funding and increasing funding for mental health services across Australia.
The Greens would ensure everyone has access to mental health services by investing in early intervention and prevention, assertive outreach programs, peer to peer workers and workplace interventions. We are deeply concerned about the gap in psychosocial supports following the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We would ensure Australians with severe mental health issues do not miss out on essential services and supports.
We understand the importance of community-based programs and working with the sector to implement evidence-based programs. Our mental health platform includes further details on these policies, which you can find here.
Labor has a proud record in delivering long-term mental health reform. In Government we increased funding for mental health by more than 360 per cent and created the National Mental Health Commission.
Labor believes the Federal Government should play a leadership role in working with the states and territories on real mental health reform that addresses gaps in services, rather than piecemeal announcements. A Shorten Labor Government will ensure any investments provide the best possible outcomes for people living with mental ill-health.
A Shorten Labor Government will match the funding allocated to mental health services in the 2019-20 Budget. We will have more to say on our priorities in mental health in the coming weeks, including commitments for additional headspace centres across the country.
We have no proposals to alter existing arrangements on mental health.