LABOR WILL INVEST IN MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION REFORM

A Shorten Labor Government will invest over $1 billion to drive vital mental health and suicide prevention reform.
 
Labor believes when someone puts their hand up and asks for help, they should be able to access appropriate services.

Taking action on mental health is the right thing to do – for Australians living with mental ill health, their families and the broader community.
 
Labor will invest $197 million to trial four headspace Plus community-based hubs for youth mental health.
 
We know that some young people with moderate to complex mental ill health cannot access the services they need.
 
That’s why these innovative hubs will address the ‘missing middle’ and provide support to young people who need it most.
 
Young people accessing
 headspace Plus will receive support from a range of mental health experts including GPs, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, addiction specialists and peer workers.
 
Labor will fund
 headspace Plus in partnership with relevant states and territories, recognising the roles they play in the provision of community-based services.
 
Labor will also invest:

  • $35 million to headspace for new centres.
  • $20 million to create Australia’s first ever National Plan for Eating Disorders and Body Image Research.
  • $20 million for mental health nurses based on need and delivered through Primary Health Networks.
 
These initiatives are in addition to more than $300 million in investments for mental health infrastructure and services that Labor has announced across the nation for hospitals and community mental health.
 
This investment also builds on the mental health and suicide prevention Budget funding allocation that Labor has already stated we will support; bringing our total package to over
$1 billion. 
 
The Budget initiatives include:
  • $263.3 million for headspace.
  • $114.5 million for eight adult mental health centres.
  • $70 million for eating disorders centres and national coordination for eating disorders treatment.
  • $43.9 million for perinatal mental health.
  • $15 million to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for improved data on self-harm and suicide.
  • $11.5 million to the National Mental Health Commission for the National Mental Health Workplace initiative.
 
It is estimated around 1 in 5 Australians experience mental ill health. ABS figures last year revealed 3,128 Australians died by suicide in 2017 – an increase of 262 deaths from the previous year.
 
These statistics are deeply concerning and heartbreaking.
 
Labor knows that despite the good work being done by governments and the sector, clearly there remains the need for genuine reform.
 
This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for increased investment in mental health, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.
 
We need real change – because more of the same isn’t good enough.
 
If you want better mental health funding – vote Labor.
 
* For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 *
 
** Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE (33 4673). 
 
TUESDAY, 7 MAY 2019

LABOR WILL CREATE AUSTRALIA’S FIRST NATIONAL PLAN FOR EATING DISORDERS AND BODY IMAGE RESEARCH
 

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $20 million to create Australia’s first National Plan for Eating Disorders and Body Image Research.
 
Eating disorders affect over one million Australian men and women and have amongst the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses. Body image remains one of the top three concerns of young people, particularly young women.
 
Last year, Bill Shorten wrote to Scott Morrison urging that we work together to make this a mission of Parliament, to develop and implement a National Plan.
 
Although Labor welcomes the Medicare Benefits Scheme item and eating disorder clinics announced by the Government, our efforts must not stop there.
 
Labor will match these initiatives, but we must do more and develop a comprehensive strategy that includes funding for prevention and research.
 
Labor’s National Plan for Eating Disorders and Body Image Research will develop innovative evidence-based approaches to the prevention, early-intervention and treatment of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Labor will ensure that Australians with a lived experience are involved.
 
Australia has no coordinated strategy to prevent and understand eating disorders and body image.
 
Research in this area remains significantly underfunded with estimates suggesting that government funding for research of eating disorders equates to approximately $1.10 per affected individual.
 
Labor’s National Plan for Eating Disorders and Body Image Research will:
 
  • Increase knowledge of the prevalence of eating disorders.
  • Build an evidence base for prevention and early intervention strategies.
  • Create age appropriate interventions to prevent the development of body dissatisfaction.
Labor’s plan will ensure Australia does better at not only treating eating disorders – but at preventing and understanding them, with body image a central component.
 
The absence of a national strategy to tackle this all-important issue in a coordinated way remains of serious concern.
 
Labor will also provide an additional $500,000 to the Butterfly Foundation to develop an evidence-based guideline in schools around eating disorders and body image.
 
Our announcement builds on Labor’s strong history of providing national leadership, particularly focussed on improving access to treatment and changing attitudes around body image.
 
This $20.5 million commitment is part of Labor’s wider mental health package.
 
This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for increased investment in mental health, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.
 
We need real change – because more of the same isn’t good enough.
 
If you want better mental health funding – vote Labor.
 
** Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE (33 4673). For urgent support, call Lifeline 13 11 14 **
 
TUESDAY, 7 MAY 2019