Government has been offered a clear way forward on mental health and they need to act

The Greens have welcomed the Productivity Commission report into Mental Health and say that it has provided a clear way forward for the Government in reforming Australia’s mental health system.

“It is a great shame that this report has not been released earlier and that the Government didn’t take the opportunity in the recent budget to start the process of reform that is so urgently needed.

As Australians we pride ourselves on having an accessible health care and Medicare system, but at the moment people who need treatment for their mental health are not getting the access or the standard of care they need.

We currently have a fragmented system and thousands of Australians are falling through the cracks.

The ad-hoc approaches need to stop.

Three quarters of mental health issues begin before the age of 25, it is critical that we support the mental health of children and young people.

This report makes a clear case for addressing the social determinants of health which is so often ignored by this Government.

A housing first approach is essential for treating mental health.

Living in poverty is a clear contributor to poor mental health and anxiety.

The Productivity Commission has made some recommendations on the income support system and the mutual obligations system and their negative impacts.

Not only does living in poverty make access to treatments difficult the system itself exacerbates mental health conditions and creates stress and anxiety.

This is a long-term roadmap for reform and the Government needs to start now.

Our health system will not be truly universal until people can get access to a mental health treatment in exactly the same way they would for a broken leg.

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