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Time for action on real cost of mental health

A new report estimating the real costs of mental health services in Australia should be a wake-up call to the old parties, say Australian Greens spokesperson on Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright.

The report funded by Beyond Blue and Medibank said the real costs of mental health services was more than $28 billion, more than three time official government estimates.

"This is further evidence of the need for real action and real dedication from all levels of government," Senator Wright said.

"It goes to show that society pays for mental ill-health is one way or another, so it's much better to pay for proper, effective, timely mental health services rather than pay the social costs further down the track.

"One in five Australians experience mental ill-health in any year.

"To make sure every Australian is cared for we need much greater co-ordination between State and Federal Governments and other agencies.

"One particular area where more work is needed is in rural and regional communities, where there is only limited access to mental health services.

"The Australian Greens are passionate about ensuring the 30 per cent of Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas can access the help they need."

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