Greens announce $1.4 billion boost for mental health sector
The Greens have announced a mental health package that turns the system’s focus to prevention and early diagnosis with an additional $1.4 billion in funding.
“Today the Greens announce a big investment in mental health services, which is so often overlooked and underfunded,” said Dr Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader and former GP.
“Investing in our health is a priority for the Greens and today's announcement is the first of several we will make over the coming week.”
The Australian Greens mental health spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said: “All Australians deserve to live a healthy life and good mental health is integral to this.
“When our health system is under pressure like never before, mental health funding should be seen as an investment, not a cost.
“By placing a greater emphasis on health promotion, prevention and early diagnosis, we can avoid compounding medical and personal costs in the future.
“The Abbott-Turnbull government has spent nearly 3 years undermining our mental health system, putting a massive strain on the doctors, nurses and mental healthcare providers who are doing their best in a broken system. We can do things differently.
“A universal mental health system that is accessible regardless of income is a fundamental part of Australian society.
“The Greens mental health plan puts people at its heart, improving access, reducing costs and making sure people’s health and wellbeing are put first,” concluded Senator Rice.
The plan includes a significant increase in funding for Primary Health Networks’ flexible mental health funding pool, the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, headspace and Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres, and rural mental health. It also commits to establishing an anti-stigma strategy, a national suicide prevention campaign and an overarching supervisory body for mental illness research in Australia.
** Policy document attached **
Senator Rice: Sam Drummond 0400 352 935
Senator Di Natale: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600