Dr Michael Carr-Gregg’s scathing review of budget’s big mental health spend
A leading Melbourne psychologist has issued a scathing review of the federal government’s mental health plan.
The government will provide an extra $2.3 billion to mental health in the 2021-22 budget, bringing the total spend to $6.3 billion.
The budget includes funding for 57 additional mental health treatment sites for adults and more centres for youth and though the Head to Health and headspace programs.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says suicide prevention is a budget priority, but psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says the measures introduced won’t reduce suicide rates.
“65 per cent of people who have psychological problems aren’t seeking help,” he told Neil Mitchell.
“The main emphasis needs to be on getting people from the community to seek help. He (Frydennberg) hasn’t done that.”
Dr Carr-Gregg identified four things he thinks Mr Frydenberg missed out on in the budget’s mental health funding:
- Telehealth: “He didn’t increase telehealth and it’s only for another six months — that should be permanent.”
- Mental health hubs: “Mental health hubs are 400 per cent more expensive than using embedded psychologists, so not good.”
- Medicare rebate: “He didn’t raise the Medicare rebate to $150 a session, it’s still at $87.45 — A huge amount of out of pocked expense for people.”
- Upping rebated sessions: “We needed to follow the productivity commission’s report of 40 rebate sessions a year. He didn’t do that either.”
Press PLAY below for Dr Carr-Gregg’s scathing review of the federal government’s mental health plan