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Government picks up Green mental health initiatives

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 10 May 2011

A number of key mental health initiatives instigated by the Australian Greens have been included in the Federal Government’s new mental health spend.

“The Greens took a comprehensive mental health plan to the last election, an approach which was not adopted at the time by the Government or Coalition. So to have this comprehensive package on the table is a very positive development for the sector,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens health spokesperson said after tonight’s budget announcement.

“Specifically, we are pleased that the Government has made a comprehensive investment across a number of areas of mental health. The Greens have known for a long time that mental health needs joined-up and comprehensive approach that better integrates the funding and support of mental health services into the wider health system,” said Senator Siewert.

“The investment in children, youth services, early intervention and intensive case management is especially positive and highlights the value of listening to our mental health experts.

“I am very pleased to see the establishment of a dedicated Mental Health Commission. This is a key component of the Greens mental health policy and it is an important step for implementing this package.

“The Commission will have an important job to do, overseeing the development of appropriate mental health services and transparent accountability.

“I now look forward to the Minister taking a similarly productive and consultative approach to the important issue of aged care funding next year,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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