The Centre for Volunteering is collaborating with the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) and other peak bodies on research addressing the economic and social costs of the pandemic and natural disasters.

The research explores the upheaval of the last two and a half years and impacts on our state’s people and the NSW economy. The first report, which focuses on mental health, was released in August.

Key findings of the first report include:

  • On average, NSW spent $53 less per person on community mental health services, compared to other states and territories.
  • Modelling for the report estimates a significant rise in people in NSW experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of COVID lockdowns alone, with costs to the economy of up to $7.4 billion over 2021-25, arising from reduced productivity and workforce participation.
  • Evidence suggests that the combined mental health impacts of COVID and natural disasters are far-reaching, particularly for low-income renters, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and young people.   
  • $430 million in additional funding is required to match the national average spent on community mental health services and enhance early intervention, psychosocial support, continuity of care and rehabilitation services.

Read the full report here.