Mental health has become a priority in the federal government’s health agenda with advocacy bodies across the country welcoming the announcement with a sigh of relief.
On Tuesday, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the government would commit a $170 million package to mental health support and prevention, including $80 million for community psychosocial services, more than $50 million to support veterans and $15 million for research initiatives.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was “a very significant health budget but it is a particularly significant mental health budget”.
The announcement has been welcomed by beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, Lifeline, Mental Health Australia and SANE Australia.
SANE Australia chief executive officer Jack Heath said it was a step in the right direction.
“We are encouraged by the budget’s focus on psychosocial support for people with complex mental illness, especially those who may not qualify for the NDIS. It is a step in the right direction but we still have a way to go,” Heath said.
“One of SANE’s longstanding concerns has been that hundreds of thousands of Australians living with complex mental illness could lose vital community-based supports as funding is transferred into the NDIS.
Source: Pro Bono Australia