Green said mental health accounts for about 13% of illnesses but only 7% of government health spending.
“Prevention just isn’t being funded consistently, and responses are uneven and vary across the country,” she said.
“We have a mental health system where every service is under pressure to meet urgent demand – we know what works, but the investment doesn’t match the need.”
The National Disability Insurance Scheme, meanwhile, has been described by disability advocacy groups as a “bureaucratic nightmare” that fails to meet the needs of many of its clients.
Green said the NDIS provided support for people living long enough, but “there is no model in Australia that would offer such a comprehensive approach earlier when we could arguably be better able to prevent the progression to permanent disability”.
Green said more lives would be lost unless the inequity in mental health care funding is addressed.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from families, and especially mothers who have lost a family member to suicide because the system has failed them,” she said.
Green developed mental health issues herself around the age of 12, with multiple suicide attempts, and credits her mother for keeping her alive during that time.
“I myself am a mother of three young children and I am an example that it is entirely possible to recover and live well,” she said.
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