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Greens to deliver millions for rural mental health care

The Australian Greens' plan to  invest more than half a billion dollars in mental health services across rural and regional Australia will save lives and build stronger communities, say Senators Penny Wright and Peter Whish-Wilson.

Launching the party's rural mental health policy in Launceston today, Australian Greens' mental health spokesperson Senator Wright said the policy was based on recommendations sought directly from rural communities.

"Years of under-investment in rural mental health continues to cost lives all across country Australia," Senator Wright said.

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Better rural mental health services: caring for country Australians

One in five Australians experience mental ill-health in any year. The consequences of mental ill-health in rural and regional areas are far greater than in urban areas given that access to mental health services is substantially lower.

Over 30% of Australians live in rural areas but they have limited access to essential health services compared to their urban counterparts. The Greens believe that this inequity must be addressed.

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Rural mental health tour report: Voices & Experiences

The Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, is pleased to launch the Report "Voices and experiences: Improving mental health services in country Australia:"

The report is the result of extensive consultation with frontline rural mental health workers, service providers, consumers and their families. Senator Wright toured regional Australia during 2012 and 2013, visiting 24 towns across six states.

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Schizophrenia Awareness Week

GreensMPs 24 Jul 2013

Senator WRIGHT

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 757 standing in my name and the name of Senator Di Natale relating to Schizophrenia Awareness Week, in the terms circulated in the chamber.

Leave granted.

Senator WRIGHT

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   14 May to 20 May 2012 is Schizophrenia Awareness Week, and

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.


What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Schizophrenia Awareness Week motion - make mental health a priority

I move that the Senate

notes that:

(i)      it is Schizophrenia Awareness Week;

(ii)    people affected by serious mental illness face critical challenges to achieving and maintaining the same physical health as other people in the community;

(iii)   such people are more vulnerable to coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and respiratory disease than those without serious mental illness; and

(iv)  their life expectancy is up to 25 years less than that of the general population; and

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Country South Aussies let down by budget

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on country South Australians, say Australian Greens Senators Sarah Hanson Young and Penny Wright.

"Labor has spent more time listening to mining companies, the big banks and their factions than the people in rural and regional communities," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The Greens stood up for regional South Australia during the Murray Darling Basin debate while our colleagues in the old parties and those upstream tried to sell us down the river.

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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.

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