POSITIVE POLICY

Better Mental Health Care

Labor believes that long term mental health reform focused on delivering a more integrated, cross-sector and whole-of-government mental health care system must be a national priority but it requires national leadership.

A Shorten Labor Government will build on Labor’s strong legacy in mental health by ensuring investment goes to where it is needed most. 

Labor’s commitment to strengthening support for people with mental illness and improving mental wellbeing starts with the recommendations of the National Mental Health Commission.

Labor largely supports the National Mental Health Commission’s recommendations and will outline our priorities for implementation within the first 100 days of a Shorten Labor Government.

In addition, a Shorten Labor Government is committed to making sure people with mental illness and their carers continue to be supported as the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out and through the continuation of community based mental health services. 

We will work towards improving the lives of those that are the most disadvantaged and we will not forget people living in regional, rural, and remote areas of Australia. 

We also recognise that the pressures faced by Australia’s small business owners and operators, as well as those in farming, can lead to poorer mental health and well-being.

We know that regionally delivered and funded services can help to build community resilience through early intervention and the prevention of mental illness. 

Our efforts will also focus on preventing the tragedy of suicide by identifying and addressing the causes of suicide and providing services and support which target the people most at risk. 

A Shorten Labor Government will commit to the National Mental Health Commission’s target to reduce suicides by 50 per cent over the next ten years.

Labor will establish 12 regional initiatives – six urban, four regional and two remote - as the first stage in implementation of a comprehensive, wholeofsystem approach to suicide prevention.  Regions will apply for grants to fund place-based initiatives tailored to local community needs for services and support. 

We will work with stakeholders and State and Territory Governments to identify these sites within the first 100 days of government. 

Labor’s plan will build on our historic investment in mental health in a way that ensures the sustainability and effectiveness of Australia’s mental health system for the long term. 

More information about Labor’s positive plan is available here.