Why isn’t there more in the budget for Mental Health?

MEDIA RELEASE At a time of pandemic, rolling natural disasters and a housing crisis, why is the wellbeing of the nation not the number one priority for the federal government?

Why isn’t there any new funding for the community managed mental health and wellbeing sector, despite the key role that these services could play in addressing the “missing middle” as outlined in the 2020 Productivity Commission report?

The CEO of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Jennifer Black, says the federal budget piled disappointment on dismay for community mental health organisations.

“The community mental health sector had already been dealt a blow by the lack of solid commitments in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement, which was released earlier this month,” Ms Black said.

“Now, the federal government has announced minimal funding commitments to more of the same sorts of services, which do nothing substantial to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of people missing out on support altogether.”

QAMH has welcomed the additional funding for Lifeline, measures to address eating disorders, increased funding for multicultural communities and funding for youth mental health, Ms Black said.

“But this is not the transformational change that the entire mental health system needs.”

Background

The Productivity Commission report into Mental Health, which was released to much fanfare in 2020, identified the “missing middle” as potentially several hundred thousand people, who are not able to access the mental health support they need. It found that this gap primarily reflects a lack of community mental health services.

QAMH represents more than 120 members and stakeholders involved in the delivery of practical support to people experiencing mental health challenges. These services range in size and focus, but they are all embedded in local communities throughout Queensland and well positioned to address this need if funded.

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Media contact: Emma Griffiths, QAMH Director – Advocacy and Communications

M: 0439 971 080

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