Government out of touch on mental health and suicide prevention support

Sunshine Coast MP Andrew Wallace has slammed the Federal Government’s decision to cut psychologist visits as a kick in the guts for Australians seeking mental health treatment.

On the same day Suicide Prevention Australia called on the Albanese Government for urgent support, Health Minister Mark Butler announced patients would only be able to claim Medicare rebates for 10 visits to a psychologist instead of the 20 visits introduced by the Coalition Government in August 2020.

“Labor is completely out of touch with the needs of the Australian people, and they are patently out of their depth,” Mr Wallace said.

The Federal Member for Fisher said the Liberal National Party were committed to mental health and suicide prevention as evident in the former Coalition Government’s investment to double the number of individual Medicare subsidised psychological sessions under the Better Access scheme.

According to data released by Suicide Prevention Australia, more than one in three (38%) Australians know someone in their personal life or networks, who has died by or attempted suicide in the past 12 months.

The peak body’s findings showed cost-of-living and personal debt remained the number one issue driving elevated distress.

“I am deeply disturbed by Labor’s latest betrayal to the most vulnerable people who need our help,” Mr Wallace said.

“Labor turned their backs on our first responders, cutting funding for their mental health care before the Coalition pressured the Albanese Government to backflip last month.

“Prime Minister Albanese must reverse this heartless decision.”

For help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.