11 May 2017

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) welcomed investments in mental health announced in the Federal Budget 2017.

“The Government’s commitment of $115 million to mental health in the Budget including rural telehealth psychological services, additional support to veterans, mental health research and initiatives to reduce suicide are very positive investments” said APS President Anthony Cichello.

“The Minister has acted on his commitment to provide funding for people with a mental illness and psychosocial disability who had been at risk of losing their services during the transition to the NDIS. The APS now asks state and territory governments to also commit funding to meet the Australian Government’s investment” he said.  

Mr Cichello said the Budget demonstrated the commitment of the new Health Minister Hon. Greg Hunt and the Government to mental health.

“It’s heartening to see a focus on mental health in the Budget in particular high areas of need,” Mr Cichello said. “Ensuring people with mental illness who would miss out under the current NDIS funding arrangements are looked after is a very important step. Many chronic conditions are mental health issues that can have equal impact to a chronic disease or physical disability.”

“We still have a long way to go for mental health to receive budget parity for physical health.  A robust mental health system caters for those at risk and with severe mental illness but also has a strong preventative focus, and addresses high prevalence disorders such as depression and anxiety with risk of suicide.”

In its pre-Budget submission the APS suggested solutions to delivering psychological services in aged care, an neglected area of high need, reinstating sessions under the Better Access initiative, improved services for victims of child sexual abuse and victims of domestic violence.

The APS 2017-18 Pre-Budget Submission

Note to editors

The APS is available to comment

For more information, or to arrange an interview call Rebecca Matthews on 03 8662 3358 or 0435 896 444, or email media@psychology.org.au.  Find the APS Media team on Twitter:  @AustPsych.

The APS is the largest professional organisation for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 22,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.