Pre-Budget Submission 2020-21 – Addendum
Since Mental Health Australia submitted its 2020-21 Pre-Budget Submission, Australia has experienced an extreme bushfire season that has devastated communities and traumatised many people. Immediately following this our population and health systems were confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic, social and mental health impacts which are emerging as more challenging than anything we have dealt with as a nation since World War II.
Mental Health Australia has contributed to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements and to the Senate inquiry reviewing lessons to be learned from the 2019-20 bushfire season, and eagerly awaits their recommendations. The mental health sector is also awaiting the release of the final report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into mental health that will provide a framework to drive and inform future investment.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing national and international threat posing significant loss of life and ongoing morbidity, loss of employment, severe negative economic impact and reduced social connectedness and mental wellbeing. The significant investment made by the Australian Government in health and financial support during this pandemic has been well received. In particular, the focus on addressing the mental health impacts of the pandemic by the Australian Government is world leading. However as the original hopes of moving out of restrictions affecting employment, study, travel and social interaction in the near future are revised to longer term, there needs to be consideration of new and extended funding investments. These investments, as with all government funded initiatives, should be subject to routine evaluation and impact monitoring with a focus on delivering outcomes for the Australian population, including mental health consumer and carers.
As such, Mental Health Australia is submitting an Addendum to its original Pre-Budget Submission (provided in February 2020), focusing on Government investment in the mental health of the Australian community in the context of the pandemic.
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