In mid-2020, the Future Generation Global board embarked on a review of our social investment strategy. Conscious of the growing demand for support from young people and calls for major reform of the mental health sector, we felt compelled to optimise the impact of our donations.
This new portfolio of impact partners is the culmination of an 18-month review into FGG’s social investment strategy. The review confirmed that despite a steady increase in government expenditure on mental healthcare services over the past three decades, the rates of mental ill-health, self-harm and suicide among young people continue to rise. Indeed, the latest National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing shows that an alarming 39.6% of 16-24 year-olds had a 12-month mental disorder in 2020, up from 26.4% cent in 2006.*
Put simply, the current focus on mental healthcare alone is not working. We need to start tackling the root causes behind the alarming increase in youth mental health conditions, distress and suicidal ideation.
Australia has a strong track record of reducing the financial burden and human cost of many other conditions – from skin cancer and heart disease to strokes and diabetes – by investing in prevention as well as improving treatments. However, prevention and wellbeing have been largely neglected in mental health policy. Combined, Australian governments spend only around 1% of their mental health budgets on prevention.
The Future Generation Global Board sees this is a great opportunity to create positive impact in youth mental health and late last year decided to direct our social investment into wellbeing and prevention. We are certain that by beginning to front-load more of our investment in mental health, similar advances can be made in the youth mental health space.
We look forward to working with our new partners – and you, our shareholders – to make this happen.
To find out more about the Future Generational Global Expression of Interest process here: https://futuregeninvest.com.au/eoi/fgg/
*Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020-2021 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/mental-health/national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing/2020-21#data-download
Read the coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald.