2017 Mental Health Australia pre-Budget submission

Lachlan Searle

Mental Health Australia presented its 2017 pre-Budget submission to the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Minister for Health and Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health at the 2017 Parliamentary Advocacy Day in March.

The submission has also been sent to the Treasurer directly at the request of the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP.

The submission calls for a bi-partisan systematic approach to:

  • Restoring then increasing funding levels to keep pace with demand for mental health services over the medium term
  • Urgently addressing the gaps that are opening up in the mental health service system
  • Urgent action to address the unprecedented levels of funding uncertainty,
    which is holding back co-investment and undermining mental health workforce retention and development
  • Supporting consumer and carer engagement in order to build the
    consumer-centred mental health system of the future

In short, the pre-Budget submission is asking for seven key reforms

  • Urgently fill the gaps that have opened up as psychosocial support programs
    are transitioned to the NDIS
  • Develop a long term, bi-partisan plan to increase future investment in mental health services and programs
  • Adopt national targets and indicators to guide planning and investment
  • Strengthen the role of the National Mental Health Commission in order
    to improve accountability and transparency
  • Improve the capacity of Primary Health Networks to commission high quality stepped care and psychosocial support
  • Focus future investment on early intervention and prevention
  • Support consumer and carer engagement, and other system enablers,
    in order build the consumer centred system of the future
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