Media release: Affordable and appropriate housing – the absolute foundation for mental health recovery and wellbeing

In a week where the focus has been on the increase to mortgage repayments, Mental Health Australia is reminding both major parties, and all candidates in the Federal Election, just how important affordable housing is when it comes to mental health recovery and wellbeing.

Mental Health Australia CEO Dr Leanne Beagley says access to appropriate and affordable housing is the key for people to participate in our society and an absolute foundation for recovery and support.

“We need to work hard to ensure everyone, including Australians living with mental ill-health, have access to their own, appropriate and affordable home,” said Dr Beagley.

“The fact that more than 31,000 people across Australia living with mental ill-health are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, means we have to work harder to ensure everyone has a home. And we have to work harder to accommodate the 2,000 Australians stuck in institutional care because other appropriate accommodation is not available.”

“At Mental Health Australia we know that appropriate and affordable housing is an absolute foundation for mental health recovery and wellbeing.”

“It is also the key for people to participate and contribute to our society and the economy.” As the 2022 Federal Election campaign moves through its final week Mental Health Australia is reminding all candidates that every election issue will impact mental health reform and service provision, and housing is at the top of that list.

“For years now we have been advocating that the responsibility for integration at the interface of mental health and housing must be included in future reform, including the next National Housing and Homelessness Agreement,” said Dr Beagley.

“Access to affordable housing is an issue for many portfolios and all jurisdictions, not just for health.”

“Mental Health Australia, and many others in the sector, are calling on all governments to take actions to improve access to appropriate and affordable housing for people with lived experience of mental ill-health.”

“This includes increasing the availability of housing options, supports to sustain tenancies and early intervention prevention, especially when a person becomes unwell or first experiences housing insecurity.”

“Action to address housing affordability and homelessness is one of the key actions the Australian Government can take to address Australia’s mental health crisis, and achieve our vision of mentally healthy people, and mentally healthy communities.”

“People need to head to the voting booth on Saturday with mental health in mind.”

What does it mean to vote with mental health in mind? It means to vote knowing that every issue, every announcement, every debate, every election promise made, has the potential to impact our mental health, and our mental health system.

To see how housing security affects our mental health or to find out more go to: https://mhaustralia.org/2022-election-vote-mental-health-mind

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Media contact: Nikki Hogan 0402 528 022 or nikki.hogan@mhaustralia.org

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cost of living, Federal Election