While speaking today at the 2011 Post-Budget Health Briefing, Bupa commended the Government for its $2.2 billion commitment to mental health services, which will deliver improved health outcomes for many marginalised Australians.
The urgent need for prioritisation of funding in this area is highlighted by the fact that nearly a quarter of people aged 16 to 24 have had a mental health problem in the last year, and that 80% of young people don’t receive any help for it.
Through its charitable health foundation, Bupa provides financial and practical support to headspace centres in order to raise awareness of how young people are impacted by mental health issues, and what the community can do to help.
Additionally, the Bupa Health Foundation was a key partner in the first ever International Youth Mental Health Congress which helped to push this important issue onto the political agenda.
Bupa’s Managing Director, Richard Bowden, said: “For too long mental health has been a ‘Cinderella’ service – out of sight and out of mind.
“However, the Government 2011 Budget has recognised and taken appropriate action to address this societal problem.
“Our sincere hope is that in doing so, this will enable the wider health system to help the estimated 750,000 young people whose mental health needs are not currently being adequately met.”
In particular, he stated Bupa was extremely supportive of the $197 million that will be provided to headspace to open 30 new centres.
“This key initiative will increase access for thousands of vulnerable young people, providing them with a lifeline to receive appropriate treatment and care,” Bowden said.
“Equally importantly, this demonstrates the Government’s intent to try and prevent mental health problems and deal with them when they occur in the community, rather than in hospital.”
Bowden also welcomed the announcement of a new National Mental Health Commission.
“Youth mental health is not just a question of better healthcare, but also recognising the complex and challenging needs of young people – including access to better education, housing or the justice system, as well as the health service,” he said.
“And I’m extremely confident that the new Commission will help to bring together all the different services that people, and particularly young people, rely on.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Government, headspace and other key stakeholders to improve the state of Australia’s mental health.”
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About Bupa in Australia
Bupa Australia Pty Limited proudly provides health insurance to more than three million Australians under the well known health insurance brands MBF, HBA, and Mutual Community. It also provides complementary healthcare services through Bupa Health Dialog, Peak Health Management and Blink Optical. Bupa Care Services Pty Limited is an aged care provider with 47 facilities around Australia.
Bupa focuses on providing sustainable healthcare solutions that represent real value, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventive health and wellness – helping customers better manage their health for the long-term. Bupa’s Australian businesses are part of the international Bupa Group, which cares for more than 30 million people in over 190 countries.