What is govt doing to keep Australians’ mental health in good shape?

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Highlights

  • Every year, nearly one in five Australians in the age group of 16-85 years is affected by a mental health disorder.
  • In the year 2019-20, AU$11.0 billion was spent on mental health in Australia
  • In the 2021-22 Budget, Australia committed to invest AU$117 million towards mental health.

Mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It is a condition in which every person understands their potential, can deal with the everyday stresses of life, works efficiently and fruitfully, and contributes to the community. It is a very important aspect of overall human health.

 

Every year, nearly one in five Australians in the age group of 16-85 years is affected by mental health disorders. Mental health is impacted by various socioeconomic factors and is related to physical health. According to Mental health services in Australia (MHSA), in the year 2019-20:

Perks of having a good mental health:

  • Strong ability to deal with stresses in life
  • Good confidence and increased self-esteem
  • Healthier relationships
  • Better productivity

How to maintain good mental health?

  • Regular exercise
  • Good sleep
  • Meditation
  • Good personal and social relationships
  • Positive outlook in life

The National Mental Health Strategy develops programs and services for addressing the mental health requirements of Australians. It has worked on five 5-year National Mental Health Plans (1993 to 2022) so far.

 Do read: How can firms take care of employees’ mental health in the workplace?

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted Australians' social and economic aspects. This has significantly exerted a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people. Although the spread of the virus has lessened now, it has left its mark on many aspects of mental health. 

The Australian government launched many subsidised mental and physical health services in response to the pandemic. Some of them are Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Kids Helpline and ReachOut. These services have witnessed a huge spike in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government funded Beyond Blue to create a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service to provide 24/7 mental health support free of cost.

Also read: CGS, TTB & MEB: How these ASX mental health stocks fared in first half

Recent developments in mental health in Australia

Under the 2021-22 Budget, the government is investing AU$117 million towards the mental health of Australians. Also, the Australian government has announced an investment of AU$2.3 billion over four years to the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention plan. The acquisition addresses the following five aspects:

The Federal Government provides funds for a lot many mental health-related services via the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). In the year 2020, MBS subsidised services under a Better Access Initiative.

 


 


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