Each year, almost one in five Australians experiences some form of mental illness. And the extra stress of the pandemic has meant that more people are in need of support than ever before.
But decades of systematic underfunding means that too many Australians don’t have access to the mental health support they need. The cost of services, and the limit on the number of Medicare-supported appointments, puts access to a psychiatrist or psychologist out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people.
If Medicare covers your physical health, it should cover your mental health as well.
A recent report by the Productivity Commission estimates that mental illness costs Australia around $200 billion per year - and that even minor improvements to our mental health system could have huge economic benefits. Better mental health support makes it easier for people to hold down a job, find secure housing, get an education and look after their kids. It’s something that impacts every aspect of our society.
The Greens will:
- Ensure mental healthcare is fully covered under Medicare - so appointments are free
- Remove the limit on Medicare-covered appointments with psychiatrists or psychologists - so you can get as much care as you need