Mental health is clearly not enough of a vote winner for Tony Abbott to make it a priority in his pre-election Budget.
Despite the National Mental Health Commission’s comprehensive review of mental health programs and services, it appears not one recommendation has been funded in the Budget.
Mental health deserves better than a self-serving government which fails to understand the needs of people living with mental illness and the organisations that provide vital services to support them.
The Minister for Health sat on the National Mental Health Commission’s report for almost six months, and the failure to deliver anything meaningful in the Budget will be heartbreaking for the organisations and individuals affected.
The Budget papers talk of a new mental health plan but contain no detail, no timeframe and absolutely no funding.
Half way through the Abbott Government’s term and it is clear that people living with mental illness and the organisations that provide services to them must again wait for yet another plan to be developed before they will see any improvements to the services they receive or deliver.
People living with mental health shouldn’t be put on the backburner while Tony Abbott saves his own skin. They have waited long enough.
In Government, Labor made mental health the centrepiece of our 2011-12 health Budget with a total package of $2.2 billion over five years.
This Budget simply confirms that the Abbott Government doesn’t believe the mental health and well-being of Australians deserves their proper attention.
Tony Abbott is too busy looking after his own future to worry about the future for people living with mental illness.