What is the biggest killer of Australians under 45?
Cancer? Road accidents? Heart attacks? Nope.
Suicide. It is an epidemic. We must start putting in place programs that help people before it gets to this point of hopelessness.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Anxiety, depression and incidents of self harm continue to be on the rise. We are a wonderfully positive, upbeat nation, but we have to begin to not only talk about, but take real action to stop this trend. We have to start making mental health funding a priority and look at different ways of tackling what is an enormous and often unspoken problem. Investing in mental health is the best value for money across the health system.
‧ It's time to scrap the $300 million school chaplaincy program. I want to use that money to invest in meditation and mindfulness programs in schools. The science is very clear on this. The effects and benefits are real. The more tools we give kids early on to deal with the ever increasing pressures of life, the happier and healthier we become as a nation.
‧ We need extra funding for early intervention programs for psychosis and schizophrenia.
‧ Institute scientific and evidence-based funding, not these “flexible funding programs” favoured by current government.
‧ It's time for a separate Mental Health Minister and stand alone portfolio. Now.