Mental health will be at the heart of the budget


Mental health support will be a key part of the federal budget in just over a week, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

Mr Hunt says mental health is one of the four pillars of Australia’s long-term national health plan.

Other areas are primary care with a strong focus on access to new medicines and better treatments to help doctors, support for hospitals and private health insurance, and medical research.

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He said the focus will be on youth suicide.

“Despite all the expectations because of what we have been able to do in terms of personalized mental health support, we have seen a reduction in suicides in Australia of 5% in 2020 – we are still awaiting final figures for 2021,” said Mr Hunt told Sky News. ‘Sunday agenda program.

“We want to see it go down, we want to see it go towards zero.”

Details on mental health support will be released in the March 29 budget.

However, the Morrison government will spend more than $315 million over four years to expand its National Ice Action Strategy in the ongoing fight to reduce the impact of ice, other drugs and alcohol.

This investment is accompanied by an additional commitment of $27.9 million to support other essential drug and alcohol treatment projects in areas of identified need.

“For too many Australians, illegal drugs are still an insidious blight on our community, robbing families of loved ones,” Mr Hunt said.

“The Morrison government is committed to building safe and healthy communities, reducing the impacts and harms of drug and alcohol use for individuals, their families and their communities.”

National sewage drug monitoring shows methamphetamine use has declined for the second year in a row.

Even so, Mr Hunt said, while this is a good sign, there is still work to be done.


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