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Greens back major church groups call to action on mental health

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 21 Jul 2010

The Australian Greens today welcomed a call by the major church providers of social services to political parties to commit to immediate action on mental health.

"Funding for community mental health services is a priority for The Greens," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Health spokesperson today.

"The Greens have previously called on the Government to act on the mental health recommendations of the NHHRC report," Senator Siewert said.

"Greens policy prioritises support for preventive and early intervention services, particularly for young people. Investment in this area could make a significant difference in reducing our nations growing mental illness toll.

"The Greens want to support a range of community-based approaches to keeping people well and supporting them to properly manage their illness," Senator Siewert said.

The Greens mental health plan includes:
* $100m for community prevention and recovery centres
* $150m for early intervention programs
* $100m for chronic mental illness programs
* A Minister for Mental Health

"The Greens agree that tackling mental health is a crucial step in dealing with the toll on our nation of homelessness, family breakdown, long-term unemployment and  suicide.

"We congratulate the major church providers - Anglicare, Catholic Social Services, Uniting Care and The Salvation Army for this initiative," concluded Senator Siewert.

Senator Siewert also chaired the recent Senate inquiry by the Community Affairs References Committee into Suicide in Australia.

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