The Labor Party is continuing its dishonest campaign on health funding – this time reannoucning the Coalition’s comprehensive policy on mental health.

Labor have issued a media release this morning claiming the Coalition’s Budget measures on mental health as their own.

It was the Coalition that worked closely with the sector and has already announced, budgeted and committed funding for:

  • $263.3 million for headspace
  • $114.5 million for eight adult mental health centres
  • $70 million for eating disorders centres and national coordination for eating disorders treatment
  • $43.9 million for perinatal mental health
  • $15 million to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for improved data on self-harm and suicide
  • $11.5 million to the National Mental Health Commission for the National Mental Health Workplace initiative

Our unprecedented $736 million boost to mental health in the 2019-20 Budget demonstrates a commitment to identifying and addressing gaps in mental health supports.

The claim from Labor of creating the first national plan on eating disorders is false.

In September 2017, we launched the Butterfly Foundation’s new National Agenda for Eating Disorders and delivered funding to roll it out through the National Eating Disorders Collaboration. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2017-hunt097.htm

That work is underway and backed with increasing funding.

We have invested almost $200 million in eating disorders alone in the last year. This is the same as Labor’s commitment to the entirety of mental health.

In the Budget we provided:

  • $70.2 million for the establishment of 7 residential eating disorders centres around Australia. This funding includes $3.6 million for the Butterfly Foundation and $3.6 million for the National Eating Disorders Collaboration to establish evidence-based guidelines.

Last year we provided;

  • $4 million to the InsideOut Institute for research translation.
  • $110.7 million to fund the first dedicated Medicare services for patients with eating disorders.
  • $2.7 million over three years (2016-2019) to the Butterfly Foundation to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC). The NEDC brings together eating disorder stakeholders and experts across a broad range of fields to help develop a nationally consistent approach to the prevention and management of eating disorders.
  • $3.26 million over 3 years for a trial led by the Butterfly Foundation of a new model of model of integrated evidence-based care for people with diagnosed eating disorders.
  • $1.5 million toward the establishment of EndED Butterfly House.
  • $3 million from 2017 to 2019 to fund the Butterfly Foundation’s National ED Hope helpline.

Our $114.5 million commitment for eight innovative adult mental health centres come as the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine today raised concerns that funding to reducing hospital emergency department wait times will not succeed unless mental health patients were treated outside of EDs.

Labor cannot manage the economy and cannot be trusted on health.