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Old parties sideline mental health

Media Release
Penny Wright 30 Aug 2013

Tony Abbott's mental health policy is so small, it's an insult to the thousands of Australians living with mental ill-heath, says Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright.

"Tony Abbott's announcement today is a huge disappointment," Senator Wright said.

"With the Coalition only delivering $23 million more over four years compared to Labor, the mental health policies of the old parties will not even scratch the surface of what is needed to improve outcomes for people with mental ill-health."

"Australia's mental health system has been underfunded for too long. What we need is not another review, but a strong commitment to more money for mental health.

"While the Australian Greens support investment in further research and the important work of Professor McGorry's centre, our plan for mental health will direct more money to research and more money to life-saving frontline services.

"Aside from matching Labor's $83 million commitment, Mr Abbott has announced just $23 million more for mental health.

"It is an insult for all those who need more help right now and it is not enough to address the significant underfunding in mental health care in our nation.

"The Australian Greens have committed to boosting mental health funding by $1.1 billion to provide more front-line services like mental health nurses, further psychology sessions and supporting community wellbeing centres.

"Our policy was widely welcomed across the mental health sector as being the investment needed to improve outcomes for people with mental ill-health.

"The Australian Greens welcome Mr Abbott's acknowledgement that poor mental health can affect every area of a person's life and also has an economic impact on Australia, but his policy has not matched his rhetoric," Senator Penny Wright added.

"If Mr Abbott is serious about mental health we call on the Coalition to match the Australian Greens' commitment of $1.1 billion so every Australian can get the care they need."

Read more about the Australian Greens' announcement on mental health funding here: http://greensmps.org.au/quality-mental-health-care.

 

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