Staying with Premier Chris Minns for a second, who was asked by host Jeremy Fernandez what he made of the mental health system in NSW after a pandemic and natural disasters, and amid a cost of living crisis.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” Minns said, pointing out that there’d been a 5 per cent increase in suicides in the state in the last 12-18 months.
He said Labor had committed $8 million to Lifeline and $16 million funding to the Kids Helpline, and his government would increase funding cycles for non-profits from three years to five years to give organisations more certainty when it came to paying for staff and priority projects.
Asked what areas he thought could be immediately addressed, Minns said there was no easy fix.
“In fairness to the previous government, if it was easy, they would have done it already,” he said. “We’ve got a tight budget situation, but obviously, when it comes to results and outcomes that we don’t want … we need to make sure that we’ve got an intervention in place.”
On a personal level, Minns said going for a run or working out helped him keep his mental health in check, as well as quitting alcohol just after lockdowns ended.
“Like a lot of people, I found myself coming home looking forward to that red wine or beer a little too much,” he said. “[Quitting alcohol] made a massive difference for me. I felt that I was clearer, happier, less anxious, and more focused on the job.”
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