National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
The Australian Government’s commitment to a national approach to mental health and suicide prevention could not be achieved without ensuring the mental health and wellbeing needs of our children.
In Australia, half of all adult mental health challenges emerge before the age of 14 and more than 50% of children experiencing mental health challenges are not receiving professional help.
Every child deserves the right to be supported and grow in a safe and healthy environment. To achieve this, Australia requires a nationally consistent mental health and wellbeing system that supports all children, and their communities, to thrive.
The National Mental Health Commission has developed the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy as part of the Australian Government’s long-term national health plan. This is the first time a national government has developed a strategy that considers mental health and wellbeing outcomes for children from birth to 12 years of age, as well as their families and communities who nurture them.
The Strategy uses four focus areas to outline the requirements for an effective system of care for children:
- Family and Community
- Service System
- Education Settings
- Evidence and Evaluation
“One of the biggest challenges that schools are facing is the mental health of children… there is no national model of school counselling services… it’s a murky water in terms of expectations, what really is the school’s role in providing mental health support?” - Education representative
It provides a framework to guide crucial investment in the mental health and wellbeing of children and their families.
The Commission is grateful to the hundreds of children and young people, industry experts and the wider Australian community for their assistance in the development of this strategy which aims to provide a long-term vision for how Australia should universally support the mental health and wellbeing of all children.
“The earlier we intervene in life, in distress and in the onset of illness, the chances for better recovery are much, much greater. If we give children the best start, they will grow into happier, healthier adults.” - Professor Helen Milroy, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Perth Children’s Hospital
In October 2021, National Mental Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan joined Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, MP and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, MP, to launch the National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy via webinar.
Perspectives from Experience
You can view and download the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy by clicking on the images below.