The Victorian government's $870 million funding injection announcement last week to address the state's "broken mental health system" is welcome.
It comes on the back of a $60 million announcement in August to help Victorians struggling with the impact of the coronavirus, a $12 million commitment from Canberra to bolster the online providers of mental health support in their work, and a $500 million outlay by the federal government earlier in the year.
The trouble with all this investment, and similar amounts in recent years, particularly from Canberra, is that it is all targeted at the 'pointy end' of this other pandemic - that of mental health.
We absolutely need more inpatient beds and more trained staff to provide the specialist care required for those who have reached crisis point.
We absolutely need well-resourced around-the-clock support from organisations like Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Kids Helpline and Suicide Line Victoria.
We absolutely need GPs and other health care providers to have at their disposal telehealth facilities for those living outside the metropolitan centres.
What we need even more, however, is a culture change around how we, as a whole community, see mental health.
In its November 2019 Interim Report, the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System highlighted the "pervasive impact of stigma", particularly in rural and regional Victoria.
This is despite the many high-profile sportspeople, entertainers and other high achievers who have spoken up about their battles with mental health in recent years.
With at least one in five people in any given year experiencing mental illness, why is there still an unwillingness among so many to speak up to those around them about their struggles?
With half of all Australians requiring intervention for a mental health condition at some stage in their lifetime, why are so many worried that those around them will think they are weak? That they are soft? That they need to suck it up like the rest of us and get on with it?
Perhaps they look at those celebrities, who seem the very antithesis of 'weak' or 'soft', and think to themselves 'they are not like me'.
It is the one in five people in our communities - in our workplaces, our clubs, our families - who hold the key to the locked door behind which we hide this issue.
People like Councillor Jo Beard. Recently re-elected for a third term on Corangamite Shire Council in Victoria's South-West, Jo is a leader by virtue not only of her civic role, but also by her vocal encouragement to those around her to open up about mental health, through the volunteer work she does with the LETS TALK Foundation.
Having lived with depression for 20 years since her mid-teens, Jo knows how it feels to hide behind that locked door.
"Breaking the stigma will enable more people, ordinary people like me, to share with others their dark feelings and worries.
When we do this, we realise that we are not alone, that we don't need to suffer in silence as many of us do."
Jo's message to us all is that bottling up those life-sapping feelings and destructive thoughts is the worst thing we can do.
She talks of the "weight that lifted from my shoulders" when she first opened up to those who love her about her life behind that door. Jo knows that people talking openly are the key.
It is with some optimism, therefore, that we note the Prime Minister's comments this week that 'fixing' the mental health system will take more than additional beds and staff. That it will take a "whole of community approach", and that "all of us are involved in this".
The fact that it took a 'Productivity' report to bring about this revelation, that the impact of mental ill health and suicide is measured in dollars rather than pain, grief and loss, seems also, sadly, to be missing the point.
It is, however, not the process that matters, but the end game.
Future government funding should be directed not only to acute, 'pointy end' services. It should also be made available to projects which are rooted in local communities, working with local people on local initiatives.
It is these projects, led by community activators who know that stigma is the single biggest barrier to good mental health, that will bring about the necessary culture change.
Local people engaging with the workplaces, schools, sporting clubs and other community organisations which bring people together, encouraging early and open expression of negative thoughts and feelings, are a big part of the solution.
This is what will reduce the number of people, forced by stigma into hiding their illness, from eventually, at crisis point, 'falling into' those additional beds.
By looking at this issue through a broader lens, we might yet also find our way out of this pandemic.