Mental health needs more funding, services: AMA

THE AMA has called on the Federal Government to provide $5 billion in funding to expand, better resource and coordinate mental health services.

The money would be used over four years to increase MBS rebates for GP consultations relating to mental health issues, to better reflect the complexities involved and meanwhile support public campaigns to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness.

The call came as the association today unveiled its latest position statement on mental health which included a range of priority areas for government action in mental health policy.

The AMA plan also backed previous calls by mental health campaigners including Professor Patrick McGorry to expand the number of community-based youth mental health Headspace centres and the number of Early
Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres.

Phone counselling services would also be expanded under the AMA plan.

AMA President Dr Andrew Pesce