Health and Mental Health
We believe that the health issues present in our country are all inter-connected.
All issues are both a cause and an effect.
Physical health affects mental health and vice versa. Both mental and physical health can affect housing security and job security. Job security affects housing security, food security, mental and physical health. Mental health can be affected by food security, housing issues, regional specific issues such as farming and water security, social equality issues, bullying and drug use.
Suicide is affected by mental and physical health issues, job, housing and income stress, family law and child safety – housing and financial stress can affect mental health, educational outcomes, pressure of public services and charities.
Regional suicide is affected by employment opportunities, health, social services, banking practices and environmental causes.
The list is endless. Each issue is interconnected with others. Over the years, our government has implemented partial policies and cut funding to others. This has a butterfly effect – impacting people and services exponentially.
You will see from our policies that we have taken a comprehensive approach to the nation’s issues in the hopes of reversing the negative trends now occurring in Australia.
You will see that our policies for employment, social support, health and mental health, regional development, taxation, education and training, and utilities provision, amongst others, are all designed to complement each other and assist in building a more productive, cohesive, healthy and safe Australia. We see health care as a broad issue in need of a holistic approach that is not influenced by vested interests.
Our medical staff and public hospitals are at the centre of our Medicare system. We will seek better funding in this world class system that underpins the very well-being of the people of Australia.
Investing in our doctors, nurses and public hospital system is not only an integral part of maintaining and improving the health of our population, but helps to ensure jobs for Australians and contributes to better physical and mental health outcomes for all.
The AWP supports the inclusion of Dental care into the parameters of Medicare. We believe all Australians, no matter their age, location or financial status should have access to Dental care. We would fight for Dental care to be included into the Medicare system.
There are far too many people in Australia suffering unbearable pain each and every day. This pain could be helped, significantly, through the use of medicinal cannabis.
This relief from debilitating conditions should not be subject to ideological viewpoints, or be dependent on the state or territory a person lives in. Therefore we believe a national approach to regulated industry is required.
Suicide has reached epidemic proportions in Australia and requires a national strategy to help address it. We cannot continue to ignore the tragedy that affects so many. We are currently averaging 8 suicides a day in Australia, and for every reported suicide, there are dozens more who have attempted. Men represent more than three quarters of reported suicides.
We believe in addressing some of the fundamental causes through effective sentencing reform for violent and sexual offenders, Family Law and Child Safety law reform, reinvesting in frontline services for domestic violence, investing in emergency accommodation and affordable housing, and ensuring people are able to continue to have access to Medicare funded mental health reviews and psychological services.
Improving funding to mental health services through our public health system and ensuring regional areas are provided with sufficient services to meet the demand are also a priority.
There must also be a targeted focus on men’s mental health and indigenous mental health, as well as the reduction in the social stigma attached to this issue.
We will be supporting, both through our health and regional development plans, to establish more services in regional areas through providing medical and psychological health professionals with the opportunity to eliminate their Hecs debts in return for 3 years service in regional areas.
Youth suicide will be targeted through increased availability of services, reinvestment in apprenticeship and traineeships to increase employment opportunities, social and human rights equality, and anti-bullying campaigns through schools.
We also believe that suicide prevention training should become a pre-requisite for all teachers, health care providers, child safety and law enforcement officers, to assist in the recognition of signs and assist in intervention.