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The MHCSA watched last night’s budget announcements keenly and noted the following highlights for mental health:
- $152m for 30 new Headspace Centres, however we cannot find any detail on their locations as of yet
- $110m for Early Psychosis Youth Centres, one of which will be in Adelaide
- $115m over five years trialling eight adult Mental Health Centres, again we are unsure if South Australia will get one
- $54m for four specialist residential centres for eating disorders including $5m for a centre in South Australia based at the Repatriation Centre
- $43.9m over seven years for perinatal mental health and welfare programs
- $15m for data about self-harm and suicide prevention
- $84.3m over four years for carer support with a focus on young carers under the national Carer Strategy
- $5.5m over four years for mental health support for communities affected by natural disasters
- $15.2m for three initiatives to promote mentally healthy workplaces across Australia, and with that $1.2m went to our Mental Health Week partner Mates in Construction.
The Mental Health Australia analysis is a good summary of the budget’s mental health aspects.
We welcome the Federal Budget being back in black for 2019/20, the first surplus in more than a decade. However we did note that the government is spending $1.6bn less on the NDIS than what was projected. In terms of solving problems within NDIS and access to psychosocial supports outside of the Scheme, we need to look for policies in the upcoming Federal Election.
We are also watching the impact on the upcoming SA budget which is likely to be severe in terms of less GST revenue. The tax cuts to low to middle income earners will also create increased capacity to deal with cost of living pressures.