CLOSE to $1.5billion will be spent on better support for mental health services in the bush as Maranoa MP, David Littleproud claims it is one of his highest priorities.
CLOSE to $1.5billion will be spent on better support for mental health services in the bush as Maranoa MP, David Littleproud claims it is one of his highest priorities. Tobi Loftus

Record amount to be spent on mental health in the bush

CLOSE to $1.5 billion will be spent on better support for mental health services in the bush as Maranoa MP, David Littleproud claims it is one of his highest priorities.

Mr Littleproud said the Coalition Federal Government is set to provide a record $1.45 billion across the nation to ensure security for both jobs and services.

"This funding will be channelled through the Primary Health Networks (PHN) to better target the needs and services of local communities,” he said.

Mr Littleproud represents almost half of Queensland, including some of the state's more remote communities and he said the mental health of our rural Australians should be a big focus.

"It's estimated one in five people experience a common mental disorder each year,” he said.

"Nearly half of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point in their lives, but less than half will access treatment.

"We're going through a tough time as drought also impacts on mental health and this is an important topic which needs to be discussed.”

Mr Littleproud said rural residents can access these counselling services through various Medicare-funded options including tele-health appointments,” he said.

"Now we can access online videoconferencing with consultants such as psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists can now be claimed through Medicare.”

The member for Maranoa said it was important to secure these service for rural residents long term.

"This will allow longer-term planning, provide job certainty for thousands of people employed in the sector, and deliver a stronger mental health system,” Mr Littleproud said.

"This will particularly benefit those living in rural and remote areas, where staffing shortages due to employment uncertainty have historically reduced access to mental health services.”