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Mental health services losing staff due to funding uncertainty

I move that the Senate:

1. notes the effects of Commonwealth funding uncertainty on the mental health sector, including staff loss, a reduction in services to clients and declining staff morale;

2. understands that 40 per cent of mental health organisations have already experienced loss of staff due to funding uncertainty, as outlined in a survey by Mental Health Australia;    

3. notes that skilled mental health practitioners have commenced leaving rural communities to find work in urban areas due to employment uncertainty;  

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More professional mental health workers needed in country areas

I move that the Senate:

1.      notes the study by Melbourne's Monash University which shows less people in rural, remote  and disadvantaged areas accessing mental health services;

2.      acknowledges that rates of severe mental illness are higher in the most disadvantaged areas;

3.      recognises that people in wealthier areas access psychologists and psychiatrists up to three times as much as those in the most disadvantaged areas; and

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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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