As the Victorian State election campaign period officially commences at 6pm today, Wellways calls on the next government to give mental health the same priority as physical health.

The State election presents all Victorians with an opportunity to recognise the importance of good mental health. Staying mentally healthy is one of the biggest challenges we all face today. Mental health issues can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or background.

Reduced funding has seen Victorian government investment in mental health fall well below that of the rest of Australia. Victoria has the lowest per capita expenditure on mental health in the country, with access to services at 39 per cent below the national average. This needs to be corrected and more needs to be done. The next government needs to give mental health the same priority as physical health.

This year Wellways has taken the decision to actively participate in policy discourse throughout the State election. Drawing on our 40 years of experience, Wellways will be seeking a commitment from the next Victorian government to appropriately fund community mental health services, including programs that are building greater carer capacity and skills, that provide appropriate information and advice services, that reduce social isolation, expand peer support and mutual support and self-help programs, as well as vital housing and community integration programs.

Our campaign, to give mental health the same priority as physical health, was launched today by Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther and went live online with our dedicated Call to Action microsite. Visit www.wellways2018.wordpress.com to learn more about our 2018 election Call to Action.

To support the campaign we’re asking our members and supporters to do three simple things:

  1. Head to the campaign microsite at www.wellways2018.wordpress.com and read our Call to Action.
  2. If you have a social media account, please post your support with a message about why you support giving mental health the same priority as physical health and use the hashtag #givementalhealththesamepriority
  3. Share the campaign with your friends and family.

There are number of great campaign images that can be shared on your social media pages to provide your friends and followers with more information about our Call to Action. Take a minute to look at our campaign microsite www.wellways2018.wordpress.com and get on board.