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RANZCP welcomes $736.6 million investment to improve mental health

03 April 2019
 
 
 
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) welcomes the $736.6 million investment in mental health announced last night in the Government’s 2019–2020 federal budget.

‘We commend the new investment in mental health which takes us a step closer to addressing some of the challenges our mental health system faces with its burden of disease and the unmet needs of so many in our community,’ said RANZCP President, Dr Kym Jenkins.
 
‘In light of our recent call on the Prime Minister to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicides and its underlying factors, it is pleasing to see a renewed focus on this growing crisis with the announcement of a national strategy to prevent youth and Indigenous suicide and build mental wellbeing.’
 
‘We have also advocated for targeted suicide prevention initiatives to address the specific needs of key population groups such as males aged between 15 and 34 and people living in rural and remote locations.’
 
The RANZCP also welcomed the $43.9 million funding allocation for a new Perinatal Mental Health and Wellbeing Program.
 
‘We know that people are at their most vulnerable in the first 1000 days of life, and women are at greater risk of developing a mental illness following childbirth than at any other time,’ Dr Jenkins said.
 
‘The effects of post-natal mental illness can be devastating on mother, baby and the community – perinatal mental health services are crucial to identifying at risk mothers and supporting them through their pregnancies to develop a strong foundation for their future wellbeing.’
 
The RANZCP noted that many of the recommendations in its submission were not addressed in this Budget.
 
‘We look forward to future Federal Government action in such areas as substance use and addiction, rural access and the psychiatric workforce, disability support and the NDIS, and the mental health needs of older people,’ said Dr Jenkins.
 
In more detail, the budget announced:
  • $461 million for its youth mental health and suicide prevention strategy, which includes:
    • $152 million for additional Headspace services to reduce waiting times across the network
    • $111.3 million for 30 new Headspace centres to bring the total to 145 centres by 2021
  • $110 million over two years to support Early Psychosis Youth Services
  • $15.2 million towards Mentally Healthy Workplaces
  • Another $5.5 million over four years to provide additional mental health services for people in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland who have been affected by natural disaster
 
For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
 
ENQUIRIES: Sarah Carr at media@ranzcp.org or +61 437 315 911
 
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.
 
In Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
 
In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz/ or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention.