Liberal MP and psychologist, Fiona Martin, has told The Sydney Morning Herald the mental health of Australians will be damaged for another five years or more as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns and recent natural disasters.
“We are very vulnerable. We’ve gone through a lot with all the natural disasters and the pandemic, and people are really struggling and they will continue to struggle, I think, for a good five years after this,” she told the newspaper.
This statement comes after Dr Martin, who is the chair of the select committee on mental health and suicide prevention, tabled the recommendations in the committee’s final report to Parliament on Wednesday.
The report’s 44 recommendations include reviewing mental health training for GPs, creating a standing committee for mental health and expanding the number of masters programs for psychologists to increase the mental health workforce.
The report also recommends changes in parliament, including introducing a new permanent committee for mental health and including the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health in all crisis meetings.
“This is about making sure that we’re armed and ready, and we’re protecting the mental health of Australians,” she said.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.