The National Mental Health Commission today welcomed the appointment of three Commissioners to the organisation.
The three, who have been appointed by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Peter Dutton, for a period of two years, up until 30 April 2016, are:
- Professor Ian Hickie (who had previously served a term on the Commission)
- The Hon Dr Kay Patterson
- Ms Lucinda Brogden
They join existing Commissioners Professor Allan Fels, Ms Jackie Crowe, Professor Pat Dudgeon, Mr Rob Knowles, and Mr David Butt (CEO and ex‐officio Commissioner).
Chair of the Commission, Professor Fels, welcomed the appointments as adding further knowledge and experience to the Commission.
“The skills and experience of our new Commissioners will provide important additional guidance and leadership for the Commission, particularly for our current task of undertaking a wide‐ranging national review of mental health,” Professor Fels said.
The Commission was set up in January 2012 to work across all states and territories and all sectors, and to report, advise and collaborate on ways to improve the Australian mental health system.
Following the September 2013 election, the Commission was tasked by the Government to undertake an independent review of mental health to ensure programmes and services are supporting individuals experiencing mental ill health and their families and other support people, so that they can lead a contributing life and engage productively in the community.
The review, which is due to report by the end of November, is examining (among other things):
- the efficiency and effectiveness of existing mental health services and programmes
- whether existing services are being properly targeted, or are being duplicated
- funding priorities in mental health and gaps in services and programmes, in the context of the current fiscal circumstances facing governments
- existing and alternative approaches to supporting and funding mental health care whether programmes are being unnecessarily burdened by red tape.