Dr Yuliya Richard and the team from Impulsivity and Blue Horizon Counselling have welcomed the 2021 Federal Budget as bringing some good news for the millions of Australians needing to access psychologists and other mental health support.

There is an historic investment of $2.3 billion into mental health measures, which is much needed and long-overdue.

The budget outline spending over the next four years in five areas.

  1. Prevention and early intervention ($248.6 million)
  2. Suicide prevention ($298.2 million)
  3. Treatment ($1.4 billion)
  4. Supporting the vulnerable ($107 million)
  5. Workforce and Governance ($201.8 million)

What are the key measures and what do they mean for people needing mental health support?

Group therapy sessions, including for family and carers: expanding group therapy sessions, and allowing families and carers to become more involved in a patient’s care, with two Medicare rebated psychology sessions per year.

Perinatal mental health: helping states and territories to achieve universal perinatal mental health screening for all new and expecting parents across public antenatal and postnatal care setting.

Child mental health hubs: helping states and territories to establish child mental health and wellbeing hubs to provide multidisciplinary care and preventive services. About 50% of adult mental illness begins before the age of 14 so early responses are crucial. It is disappointing that the Government has not committed to an increase in access to psychologists for children in Australian schools.

Digital mental health services: to provide Australians easier access to high quality digital mental health services.

Outcomes based mental health  research: establish a national database on service delivery, performance and outcomes across the mental health system and conduct surveys on the mental health of children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Psychosocial disability support: funding for psychosocial support services for people with a severe psychosocial disability who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Suicide prevention: funding to help the states and territories to provide aftercare services to every Australian discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt, as well as to support those who have lost someone to suicide. A  new National Suicide Prevention Office will oversee the national approach to suicide prevention.

Supporting the vulnerable: more crisis and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and linguistically diverse communities, including for survivors of torture and trauma. There is also a $1.1 billion package to support victims of violence including financial support for women and their children who leave a violent relationship; and additional emergency accommodation for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence.

If you would like more information on accessing Medicare rebated family group psychology sessions call us today on 0403 866 997 or use our contact form.