Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:58): Much of the nation’s focus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the development and distribution of vaccines. While the rollout has gained momentum and we’re seeing restrictions lifted, it hasn’t been without consequence. Closed borders, lockdowns and restrictions that have been put in place to protect our physical health have given rise to widespread mental health impacts, a phenomenon that has become known as the shadow pandemic.
October is mental health awareness month, and as such it affords us the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on our own mental health and wellbeing and that of the nation. In the most recent budget, the Morrison government invested a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform. This takes mental health funding to a record $6.5 billion. This includes an investment of $820 million for the establishment of a national network of adult, child and youth mental health treatment centres. This network of centres, operating under the No Wrong Door approach, will be an important element of the nation’s mental health and suicide prevention plan. I am fighting to deliver a Head to Health centre for Barker to help in the health and wellbeing of my regional community.