Making mental health a national priority

The Government is making mental health a national priority by delivering a significant investment of $2.2 billion in mental health reform and committing to ongoing action by developing a Ten Year Roadmap for Reform.

Mental health affects nearly all Australians

Nearly one‑third of Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives, with impacts on their families and communities.

Despite investment at all levels of government, the system can be too crisis‑driven, instead of focusing on early intervention and prevention to help people stay well.

Many people also experience difficulty in accessing services and navigating a fragmented and complex system.

A first step towards reform

The Government is providing funding of $2.2 billion over five years from 2011‑12

in its National Mental Health Reform package to deliver additional services, a greater focus on prevention and early intervention, and a better integrated system.

The Budget includes new initiatives of $1.5 billion over five years and builds on recent measures being rolled out including:

  • $443 million to tackle suicide; and
  • $181 million in mental health investments in the 2010‑11 Budget.

These investments represent a first instalment in longer‑term reform, which will require sustained focus.

It will also require collaboration across all levels of government, non‑government organisations, individuals and providers.

A Ten Year Roadmap for Reform

That is why the Government is committing to ongoing mental health reform by developing a Ten Year Roadmap.

The Roadmap signposts a high‑level vision for the system.

The Government has, and will continue to, engage with expert stakeholders and States and Territories to inform development of the full Roadmap, which will be finalised in 2011.


Chart: Prevalence of mental health disorders by age group (in a 12 month period)

Prevalence of mental health disorders by age group (in a 12 month period)