At Mental Health Australia we believe that the future of our mental health system, and the many community based, and life-linked, causes of mental ill-health will be discussed every day during this election campaign, because every election issue will impact our mental health.
From the pandemic to the cost of living, we know that people in our communities are under extreme pressure, and that can have a huge impact on mental health. We also know that our mental health system has been under serious pressure for many years now, and while there have been many reviews and reports into what we need to do to improve our mental health system, the progress and systemic action has been slow and disappointing.
We see this election as a chance to highlight that every issue we face can impact the mental health of individuals, families, our mental health system, and the mental health of our communities.
This is our chance to look at all the issues and policy announcements with mental health in mind and we will be encouraging people, especially those with a lived experience and those who love and care for them, to vote with mental health in mind.
What does that mean? 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 help our members and the wider community inform their vote ahead of the Federal Election, Mental Health Australia has developed a set of KEY ISSUE PAPERS to highlight how issues surrounding education, employment, aged care, and many more can and do impact our mental health.
In addition to these ISSUE PAPERS, and beyond the election, Mental Health Australia will also produce an Incoming Government Brief informed by our members and the wider sector on what we see as the critical priorities for action.
Our media release, issued on Sunday, is available here. We have also written to key leaders within the election campaign to point to the importance of mental health for Australian voters.
If you go to our ELECTION PAGE you will also find templates and support for those with lived experience to tell their story and ask local candidates their views on developing the mental health system in ways that YOU want to see.
Finally, we have developed a set of Mental Health Australia MEMBER-ONLY electorate-based material which outlines how each electorate is faring in comparison to state and nation averages in relation to mental illness in the community and service access to GPs, the MBS and the PBS. In the coming week, Members will receive a link to that data and I encourage you to use it in your local campaigning.
It is time for us all to remind the political leaders in this country that we will be voting with mental health in mind.
If Easter means a break for you, I wish you rest and renewal.
Have a great weekend.
Dr Leanne Beagley
CEO, Mental Health Australia