Bill's Media Releases


A Shorten Labor Government will ensure mental health is a national priority, with a new regional or place-based approach as recommended by the National Mental Health Commission.

1 in 5 Australians experience mental ill health each year and yet the system is fragmented and incredibly difficult to navigate.
Under Labor, mental health will be person-centred and designed specifically to meet the needs of local communities.
A Shorten Labor Government will build on Labor’s strong legacy in mental health by ensuring investment goes to where it is needed most.
Labor will be guided by the recommendations of the National Mental Health Commission and  outline our priorities for implementation within our first 100 days.
Nearly half of all adult Australians will experience mental ill health in their lifetime.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples suffer mental illness at three times the rate of other Australians.
A Shorten Labor Government will use existing Primary Health Networks to deliver regionally tailored mental health programs, as recommended by the National Mental Health Commission.
Labor will also commit to reducing suicides in Australia by 50 per cent over the next ten years.
Recommended by the National Mental Health Commission, this target will focus the work of all governments on a holistic approach to suicide prevention.
Each year it is estimated that approximately 65,000 Australians attempt to take their own life.
The rate of suicide in rural and remote Australia is 66 per cent higher than in our cities.
As part of Labor’s interim response we commit to the National Mental Health Commission’s target to reduce suicides by 50 per cent over the next ten years through:

  1. The development of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

  2. The development and implementation of a National Suicide Prevention Frameworkwhich establishes clear incremental targets and measurable outcomes.

  3. The establishment of 12 suicide prevention initiatives– six urban, four regional and two remote – for place based initiatives tailored to local community need.

  4. The development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Planto improve mental health and prevent suicides of Indigenous Australians.

  5. The establishment of thefirst national minimum data set on deaths by suicide and suicide attempts to build an accurate picture of the problem and the effectiveness of prevention initiatives.

If elected, Labor will ensure those living with mental illness, and their carers, who will not receive a package of support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme still receive the support and care they need.
The annual cost of mental illness in Australia has been estimated to be between $20- 60 billion a year including lost productivity and labour force participation.
Labor will actively support and promote the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to better support mental health and wellbeing at work, and remove the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental ill health.
Labor will also establish a new Heads Up award for excellence in mental health and wellbeing at work, as part of our recognition of the best employers in Australia.
A Shorten Labor Government will restore the independence, integrity and transparency of the National Mental Health Commission.
Labor's regionally- based approach to mental health and measures to prevent suicide will be funded by the reallocation of funds as recommended by the National Mental Health Commission.
More information on Labor's mental health plan can be found here.


                                     BELINDA FEATHERSTONE (MCLUCAS) 0408 743 457