2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission

Immediate investment needed in mental health

The 2021-22 Budget is the time for significant investment in mental health reform.

The Australian Government has consistently declared mental health to be a high priority. In releasing the report of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, the Prime Minister declared “Given the breadth of our ambition, mental health will be a feature of the budget not just next year [2021], but it will be a feature for many years to come under the governments that I lead.”[1] 

The Productivity Commission’s report has given the Government clear directions as to where to invest to improve our mental health ecosystem. This detailed review provides a comprehensive set of recommendations on fundamental reforms to create a person-led mental health system, an economic analysis of proposed policy changes, and a list of priority “start now” actions.

Mental Health Australia is calling for the following top three priorities for the Australian Government’s action on mental health:

  • An implementation plan for the recommendations of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, informed by the mental health sector, which includes all of the Commission’s recommendations and any gaps identified through the Department of Health consultation.
  • An accompanying budgetary plan that includes Australian, state and territory governments’ commitments to fund the Productivity Commission’s recommendations over a number of funding cycles.
  • An immediate investment in the 2021-22 Commonwealth budget to fund immediately implementable recommendations from the Productivity Commission, and ensure continuity of funding for the psychosocial service sector.

[1] Prime Minister Scott Morrison (16 Nov 2020), Speech – Parkville. Retrieved 15 Dec 2020 from https://www.pm.gov.au/media/speech-parkville


Read the submission here


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