The Liberal National Government is set to provide a record $1.45 billion for community mental health services over the next three years.

Welcoming the announcement, Farrer MP Sussan Ley noted local funding exceeding $100m will be provided to the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Western Primary Health Networks.

“These PHN’s were setup by our government as an independent regional health organisation to commission health services in response to the needs of local communities.

This funding means our local PHN’s can tailor mental health assistance to meet specific needs in each region, delivering a stronger, better integrated system of care.”

It is estimated one in five people in Australia experience a common mental disorder each year.

Nearly half of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point in their lives, yet less than half will access treatment.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said PHNs coordinate local support for child and youth mental health, psychological therapy, severe and complex illness, community-based suicide prevention and Indigenous mental health.

“In 2017–18, about 200,000 Australians accessed over 900,000 mental health services through local providers commissioned by PHNs.

The record three year $1.45 billion funding commitment will commence from July this year until 2021-22 and is $170 million more than what was provided for the previous three years.”

The Government has prioritised better mental health for all Australians with $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

Our strong economic management ensures continued investment of record funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.