The Morrison Government will deliver the largest Commonwealth investment in mental health and suicide prevention in Australia’s history, investing $2.3 billion to deliver structural reform and real change for Australians to ensure they have the support they need.
This includes $1.4 billion in high quality and person-centred treatment, and specifically the development of a national network including up to 57 additional mental health treatment centres and satellites for adults, youth and children, through Head to Health and Headspace programs. This landmark reform will address service gaps and provide accessible, stigma-free care throughout Australia, including in regional and rural areas.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Morrison Government’s total annual investment in mental health has grown from $5.9 billion in 2020–21 to $6.3 billion in 2021–22.
“Australians endured so much in 2020 – from the Black Summer bushfires, from which many families and communities are continuing to rebuild to the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the way we live our lives.” Mr Pasin said.
The mental health toll on Australians both collectively and individually, has been a heavy one.
“Our Government is focused on ensuring Australians are able to access affordable supports where and when they need them. We want a system that proactively reaches out to support people early in life and early in their experience of distress.” Mr Pasin said.
The $2.3 billion Plan builds on the Morrison Government’s significant existing investment in mental health services for Australians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key investments include:
A NATIONAL NETWORK OF TREATMENT CENTRES
At the heart of the Federal Government’s reform is an $820.1 million investment to create a national network of multidisciplinary mental health treatment centres based on three models:
“We will also establish a dedicated phone service to support intake, assessment, and referral, at a cost of $487.2 million.” Mr Pasin said.
“As part of this initiative, the Government will also work in partnership with state and territory governments to continue to expand the network of community-based adult mental health services.” Mr Pasin said.
The Government remains deeply committed to work towards zero suicides and is committing $298.1 million to do so.
“For the first time and in partnership with states and territories, we will fund aftercare for every Australian discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt, at a cost of $158.6 million.” Mr Pasin said.
Aftercare services provide follow up care in the immediate months after a suicidal crisis or attempt, and support individuals to seek appropriate help when they need it most.
WORLD LEADING DIGITAL CENTRE
The Morrison Government will build a single, world-class digital platform under Head to Health that will provide online professional counselling, peer support, clinical support and referrals.
Mr Pasin said this $2.3 billion investment is the first phase of the response to the findings of the Productivity Commission’s (PC) Inquiry into Mental Health and the National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s (NSPA) Final Report.
The Government has accepted all of the recommendations of both reports in full, in part or in principle. The majority of these recommendations require collaboration with state and territory governments, with a number to be pursued jointly through a new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.