Mental health investment relies on boosting workforce

Mental health investment relies on boosting the workforce

Psychologists have welcomed the NSW Government’s $130 million investment in mental health and called for federal support to ensure the psychological workforce can meet community demand, well into the future.

Throughout the pandemic, psychologists have been on the front-line of a growing mental health crisis. We want to see people putting up their hand for help when they need it, but its critical there’s someone there to meet them.

A recent survey by the APS found almost 1 in 5 New South Wales psychologists have been forced to close their books to new clients since the onset of the pandemic – a trend reflected at a national level in response to unprecedented community need.

We’ve seen record investment in mental health at both a federal and state level, and their agility and responsiveness should be commended.

To ensure these investment are successful, we must:

  • Implement an urgent national workforce strategy to boost the number of psychologists, including support for placements and training pathways for students
  • Fund scholarships for rural placements to target areas most in need – regional and rural Australians face additional barriers to care
  • Look beyond short-term solutions – demand was outstripping supply before the pandemic

We must hand-in-hand address the growing mental health crisis and future-proof the mental health system with a focus on early intervention and prevention.

Delayed care is a significant risk to the community and economy. Often the longer someone waits, the greater the likelihood of their condition becoming chronic, or taking longer to resolve.

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