The National Mental Health Commission is pleased to have delivered the 2014 National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services to the Commonwealth Government.
The Review examines existing mental health programmes and services across all levels of government, and the private and nongovernment sectors. It focusses on assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and services in supporting individuals experiencing mental ill-health and their families and other support people to lead a contributing life and to engage productively in the community.
The Commission has taken a whole-of-system, whole-of-government and whole-of-life perspective to the Review. Throughout our consultations, the Commission has found a strong commitment to mental health reform to deliver better outcomes for people who need mental health supports and programmes, and a strongly shared view about directions for reform.
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of all those we consulted. Indeed, the strength of these contributions is no better illustrated than in the more than 2,000 submissions we received.
Consideration of the Review Report now is a matter for the Commonwealth Government.
We look forward to continuing working with the Government and the mental health sector – particularly people with a lived experience, their families and other support people – to collectively achieve our vision that all Australians achieve the best possible mental health and wellbeing.
While our work this year has focussed on the Review, we have continued working with partners on a number of projects.
Through our work, we hope to support change in the attitudes and behaviour of Australians towards mental health and improve services and support for people experiencing mental health difficulties, their families and other support people.
Creating mentally healthy workplaces
Last week, National Mental Health Commission Chair Prof. Allan Fels released an Australian-first report into workplace mental health – and encouraged businesses of all sizes to take action.
Developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace: A review of the literature, was produced by the University of New South Wales and the Black Dog Institute for the Commission, and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance.
The report brings leading mental health and business experts together to look at the evidence of what works in creating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. Where possible, it also provides practical advice for businesses. In addition to providing a detailed analysis of the research, the report identifies six key success factors for a creating a mentally healthy workplace and suggests a five-step process for embedding them.
Speaking to business leaders at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event in Sydney, Prof. Fels said: “A lot of what the research confirms is common sense. For example, things like smarter work design and positive work cultures are key to preventing mental health problems, while building resilience and early intervention can both help minimise negative impacts and support recovery.
“In an economy struggling to increase productivity, reducing the huge impact of mental ill-health must be a priority. It’s important for businesses of all sizes to step up and take action, because you will only make things better, both for your people, and for your bottom line."