Mental health: State of the (Australian) Parties

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All the major Australian political parties have mental health portfolios.  If you had five minutes with an Australian politician, what would you say to them about mental health policy?

With a federal election due next year, we think it’s timely to find out what they’re planning for the mental health world.

The Minister for Health in the Coalition Government is the Hon Greg Hunt MP.  This portfolio includes mental health.

In the ALP, Senator Deborah O’Neill is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental health (Catherine King is the Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare).

The Greens’ mental health portfolio is currently held by Acting Co-Deputy Leader Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale has the Health portfolio).  It’s not clear if this will be shared concurrently or in rotation with Adam Bandt MP, also Acting Co-Deputy Leader of the Greens.

Some of the independent members of parliament have also been vocal on mental health issues.

The Rosella Room will be approaching the major parties ahead of the next federal election to find out more about their mental health policy priorities for 2019 and beyond.  We’ll publish here a series of factual articles early in the year.

Have a burning question on mental health policy or architecture?  Any topics of particular interest?  Feel free to comment here or email

All correspondence will be treated confidentially.  No names, email addresses or other identifying information will be shared with any third party or online.  




Photo at top of page by Jess Watters on Unsplash

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