The Greens say fixing Australia’s mental health crisis must be a budget priority.
“At the moment mental health care is not accessible, it’s unaffordable, not available and people’s needs are not being met,” Greens spokesperson on Mental Health Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“Community advocates, services, experts and the Productivity Commission report into Mental Health have provided a clear way forward for the Government in reforming Australia’s mental health system and the Government has done nothing.
“This is a system that was already failing and is now in crisis with the added impacts of mental ill-health brought by the global pandemic.
“Access to treatments should be available to everyone that needs services. People in our community should be able to get easy access to treatments in the same way they would for a broken leg or the flu.
“We need to make access to mental health care simpler and more affordable by expanding the coverage of mental health care and expand eligibility of Medicare-funded therapy to include people considered at risk of developing a mental illness.
“Addressing our mental health crisis also requires addressing the underlying causes of mental ill-health like access to affordable housing, income support that is above the poverty line, employment and universal access to quality service.
“The Government’s social services policies push people into poverty, cause stress and anxiety and part of looking after mental health in this country is ensuring that we keep people out of poverty and look after their well-being.
“Across Australia people are feeling the strain, and we must ensure the mental healthcare system is resourced and equipped to support people through these times.”