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Appalling mental health funding uncertainty must end

Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright says the Abbott Government must urgently guarantee funding for vital mental health services, as organisations report losing staff due to uncertainty.

 "The Abbott Government has the final report of the National Mental Health Commission's review of mental health services and they should release this without delay to end the uncertainty for the sector," Senator Wright said.

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Federal government must act on youth mental health crisis

Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright says the Government must urgently intervene to address the youth mental health crisis, outlined in a report by the National Children's Commissioner.

"Mental health has been completely off the radar under the Abbott Government, but now it needs to be put front and centre," Senator Wright said.

"When teenagers are more likely to die from suicide than car accidents, it's time to take action and make it easier for children and teens to get the help they need.

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Make mental health a priority

Senator WRIGHT:  I, and also at the request of Senator Di Natale, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that four out of five Victorians believe mental health must be a top priority in the upcoming state election and that almost 92 per cent say regional mental health services need to be extended;

(b) recognises that mental illness in 12 to 25-year-olds is costing Australia an estimated $10 billion each year and people do not have access to the services they need; and

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Estimates: data and funding for eating disorders

Eating disorders

Senator WRIGHT: I will now come to the issue of eating disorders. I am interested to know what data the department has in relation to the prevalence of eating disorders in Australia in 2014 or recently.

Mr Booth: Again, I do not have that information on me. We would need to take that on notice and see who the appropriate organisation is that collects that type of data. We can certainly look into it and we would be happy to make that information available.

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Estimates: Frozen indexation of mental health programs

Frozen indexation of mental health programs

Senator WRIGHT: I would like to ask now about the fact that it has emerged that there will be around about $20 million, arguably possibly more, of mental health program funding which will have its indexation frozen for up to four years. Is that correct?

Mr Booth: I am not sure. Could you give me some more information?

Senator WRIGHT: I might have to wait and get some more information about that.

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