Media Release: Mental Health Ignored by Prime Minister Albanese

The revelation that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had not once met with Mental Health Australia Chair Matt Berriman in the two years he has been Prime Minister is a serious indictment on Labor’s approach to the national mental health crisis.

Mr Berriman made the decision to step down from his role this week amid frustration over the Government’s lack of action on mental health, particularly following their devastating cuts to Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions.

Now it has been revealed that the Prime Minister refused to meet with the peak body chair, even as Mr Berriman pursued stronger mental health action following recent tragedies.

Shadow Minister for Health, Senator Anne Ruston said that Mr Berriman has strongly advocated for mental health to be treated as a national priority, but the Prime Minister’s refusal to meet with him demonstrates just how little this government is prioritising mental health support.

“In fact, Budget night next month will mark exactly 500 days since the Albanese Government cut affordable access to mental health support for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

“Since this government came to power, they have done absolutely nothing to support the mental health crisis confronting Australia.

“There is clearly only one party with a strong stance on mental health action – and that is the Coalition,” Senator Ruston said.

The Coalition will continue to work closely with mental health advocates to ensure we have a mental health system in Australia that focuses on prevention and early intervention, whilst providing comprehensive support for patients with serious and complex conditions.

We are committed to reestablishing the full 20 Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions, and to ensuring chronic mental illness is treated the same as any other chronic health condition.

We will support any sensible measures to ensure Australians have timely and affordable access to critical mental health support when they need it.


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