Media Releases

MENTAL HEALTH AN URGENT NATIONAL PRIORITY

March 02, 2021

The Victorian Royal Commission into the state’s mental health system has highlighted once again that mental health is an urgent national priority.

The Morrison Government was handed the Productivity Commission report into mental health back in June 2020 but, instead of responding to it, Scott Morrison set up a parliamentary committee to consider it.

Scott Morrison must not use his Joint Select Committee on Mental Health as an excuse for further delay on this urgent national priority. 

The Committee is due to present an interim report by 15 April 2021 but its final report is not until 1 November 2021 - 17 months after the Productivity Commission’s final report, two years after its interim report and three years after the Government established the inquiry. 

The Health Minister has previously promised to respond to the PC review in May’s Budget. He needs to hold to that commitment.

Australia faces a mental health crisis. Each and every year, one in five Australians experiences mental ill-health and tragically there are more than 3300 deaths by suicide. 

On 13 February, Lifeline received the highest number of calls (3,335) in one day in its history.

This crisis has only been exacerbated by COVID-19 and its economic impacts.

Australians can’t wait until the end of the year for serious action on mental health.

Serious mental health reform must start now.

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