The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) welcomes Minister Greg Hunt’s commitment to the broader recognition of Australian’s experience of mental ill health, and the need to develop a specific strategy for Australian children 0-12 years.
The Commission is pleased to take on the role of developing this national strategy to guide and inform the Government’s investment and commitment to the health and wellbeing of our children.
National Mental Health Commission Chair, Ms Lucy Brogden, recognised that this announcement fills a missing piece in the mental health system and reinforced the importance of early intervention when it comes to enabling all Australians to live and lead a contributing life:
“A mental health system that supports the needs of our children is critical to helping them grow into adults who are more likely to have fulfilling relationships, cope with adverse circumstances and adapt to change. Sadly, poor early childhood experiences can lead to behavioural issues, a diminished sense of self-worth and a decreased ability to cope. Children and young people with good mental health and wellbeing are able to lead the contributing lives we all wish for them.”
Ms Brogden said the Commission is developing the vision for a future where the mental health system works for all Australians, across their lifespan. The Commission will continue to support Government and community to develop a coordinated approach to early intervention and prevention for mental health to ensure investments are sustainable and effective for our children and young people.
The Commission’s CEO Ms Christine Morgan says of the announcement:
“Investing in prevention and early intervention strategies in early childhood is key to giving our children the best opportunity for good mental health and wellbeing. We know that mental illnesses in adulthood frequently have their onset in childhood. Focusing on the mental wellbeing of our children is not only the right thing to do but is also an imperative.”