Welcome to 2021 and our first Newsletter of the year. For those who have had a break, I hope you found time to do some of the things that make you feel happy and healthy. For those who have worked through the festive season, like those dealing with our nation's response to Covid-19, thanks.
Even though it is a New Year, we are still navigating many of the challenges from 2020. Yet, it is clear that we are learning and adapting as individuals, teams and as a sector.
The Commission has a busy year ahead with significant projects due to be launched. This includes the National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework, Vision 2030, the first phase of a National Stigma Reduction and Discrimination Strategy and a National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy (the draft of which is currently out for consultation and we welcome your thoughts).
As we return to work, school and other activities, it is important we continue to look out for each other and our own mental health and wellbeing. Many of us are still recalibrating following COVID, bushfires and a summer break that looked so different to previous years. Please remember, it is ok to not be ok, and I encourage you to reach out for help if you need it. We are fortunate in that we have seen some significant changes and improvements to our health system recently, but we know there is still more work to do as we embark on a period of historic reform for mental health and suicide prevention nationally. Your Commission stands ready to work, and we will ensure that everything we do in 2021 is in close consultation with you and the organisations that you represent, and that represent you.
Our team continues to dedicate our working lives to ensuring all Australians are enabled to lead contributing lives in socially and economically thriving communities. We look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.
National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy open for consultation
The Commission is leading the development of a National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy which outlines the requirements for an effective system of care for children. It seeks to create a new, shared understanding of the roles of families, communities, services, and educators in promoting and supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing.
We invite you to provide your views on the draft Strategy, and to share the consultation link with your networks.
Survey now closed.
Prof Helen Milroy a finalist for 2021 Australian of the Year
Commissioner Prof Helen Milroy was appointed WA Australian of the Year 2021 and was a finalist for 2021 Australian of the Year. The accolade recognises her efforts to advocate for the mental health needs of indigenous individuals, families and children, especially those who have been adversely impacted by social, cultural and systemic trauma. It was wonderful to see her work recognised this way. The Commission also congratulates Grace Tame who was named Australian of the Year 2021 for her tireless campaigning for survivors of sexual assault.
How are you #MakingTime?
"#MakingTime this summer is doing what matters. Whatever makes you tick. It's not the amount of time, it's the importance of doing it."
Butch Young, from Moss Vale in the New South Wales southern highlands, lives with Schizophrenia and has shared his experience over the past year and the impact of responding as a volunteer to last summer’s bushfires. He gives great insight into how he looks after his mental health during tough moments.
Learn more about his story and share your own with our #MakingTime initiative, encouraging Australias with lived experience to share how they are caring for their mental health this summer.
Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry consultation
Late last year the Federal Government released the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Mental Health. Now, the Government is seeking your views on the final recommendations in the report, particularly with respect to priorities and implementation issues. We encourage everyone to have their say.
Consultation now closed.
Workplace mental health guides
Last year, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, launched the Mentally Healthy Workplaces during COVID-19 guides, developed by the Commission with contributions from the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, Ahead for Business and the Department of Health. This set of three guides provides practical information and support to sole traders, as well as small, and medium to large businesses on ways to manage mental health at work during COVID-19.