2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission

    The 2022-23 Budget offers the Australian Government the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to reforming Australia’s mental health system to one which is person-led and community-focussed.

     As outlined in this Pre-Budget Submission, only significant and sustained investment in Australia’s mental health system will produce the reform required for all people experiencing mental ill health to receive the care they need. It is now authoritatively clear that mental health requires billions of dollars of investment, not millions.

    The Productivity Commission has provided a once in a generation Inquiry into Mental Health, shining an uncompromising light on the deeply flawed nature of the current mental health system. Further, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve in Australia it is clear that the mental health impacts associated with it, and measures to contain it, will be ongoing and require a mental health response for some time.

    The 2022-23 Budget should build on the down-payment offered in 2021-22 Budget, to sustain reform momentum. 

    In this 2022-23 Budget Submission, Mental Health Australia calls on the Australian Government to invest in four key priorities to sustain momentum in mental health reform. These priorities have been identified through analysis of yet-to-be implemented recommendations from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health and prioritised through consultation with Mental Health Australia members.[1]

     In the 2022-23 Budget, the Australian Government should invest in:

     1 Lived experience leadership:

    • formal national structures to represent the views of people with lived experience of mental ill health and carers

    2 Government leadership and accountability:

    • outlining funding that will be committed by the Australian Government through the impending bilateral agreements with the State and Territory Governments and the structures which will support accountable leadership across jurisdictions to deliver an integrated end-to-end system

    3 Co-designed implementation of a community focussed mental health system:

    • co-design of an effective integrated system of community-focussed mental health treatment and support
    • establishment of a national community mental health dataset
    • growing psychosocial supports to match need
    • addressing the social determinants of mental health

    4 – The mental health workforce:

    • addressing urgent mental health workforce gaps
    • establishment of a national centre for evidence based workforce development.
    Nikki Hogan
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