A $2.3 billion shot of adrenaline for mental health sector

A $2.3 billion shot of adrenaline for the mental health sector

Australia’s peak body for psychologists has commended the Government’s historic $2.3 billion investment in mental health.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has in particular welcomed the Government’s focus on early intervention and prevention, with an injection of almost $250 million into the sector, including $54.2 million for the establishment of child mental health and wellbeing hubs, and $47.4 million to support families during the perinatal period.

Support and intervention in this period has a positive social and economic impact throughout the lifespan of the child. Better outcomes for parents, mean better outcomes for children.

About 50% of adult mental illness begins before the age of 14. Early, evidence-based intervention prevents those issues snowballing and continuing into adulthood.

Psychologists are also buoyed to see a $111.4 million expansion of Medicare for group therapy sessions, including the participation of family and carers.

The APS also welcomes the establishment of a new National Suicide Prevention Office which will oversee the national approach to suicide prevention. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure evidence-based psychological interventions are at the heart of this centre.

Psychologists have been on the frontline of a mental health emergency and tonight’s Budget is an opportunity to emerge from this challenging time as a more robust, forward-thinking and empowered sector.

Quotes attributable to Tamara Cavenett, President of the Australian Psychological Society:

“Tonight’s Budget is the first shot of adrenaline for a sector struggling to keep pace with demand, but just like a covid vaccination, more than one shot is needed to fix a failing system.”

“One in four – a quarter of Australians – are touched by mental illness each year. For households looking at the Budget and what it means for them and their families, support for mental health will hit close to home.”

“Suicide has a devastating impact on families, friends and whole communities. Psychologists welcome the Government’s $298 million investment in suicide prevention and improved crisis care for incredibly at-risk Australians.”

“A suicide attempt is the strongest risk factor for a subsequent suicide. Around 25% will re-attempt within the first 3 months following hospital discharge. Ensuring these vulnerable Australians continue to receive care and support after they leave hospital is critical.”

“About 50% of adult mental illness begins before the age of 14. How we act early, matters. A $54.2 million investment in child wellbeing and mental health hubs is a vital step in addressing the mental health emergency facing our children.”

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