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RANZCP calls for greater investment in mental health

20 January 2017

On 19 January, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists made a 2017–18 Pre-Budget submission to the Commonwealth Treasury.

The RANZCP’s submission advocated for a reconceptualisation of mental health-care spending in Australia as a way of improving the efficiency of the economy. As mental health disorders account for over 13% of Australia’s total burden of disease and costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion annually, directing Commonwealth funding towards mental health care should be understood as an investment, with the potential to generate high returns.

The submission identified 10 key priority areas:

  • the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health
  • rural workforce distribution
  • Medicare
  • alcohol and other drug services
  • the mental health needs of an ageing population
  • the physical health of people living with mental illness
  • improved services for people with disorders related to chronic and/or complex trauma
  • perinatal, childhood and adolescent mental health services
  • vocational support programs for people living with mental illness.

The RANZCP made 44 recommendations in the submission surrounding these priority areas.

Pre-Budget submissions for State and New Zealand governments will be submitted within the next few months.

The full version of the RANZCP’s 2017–18 Pre-Budget submission is available on the website.