National Mental Health Commission (Commission) welcomes the National Cabinet’s acknowledgement of the National Partnership Agreement for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
The Agreement came into effect following the signing by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Tasmanian and Northern Territory Treasurers on Friday 11 March 2022.
Commission CEO, Christine Morgan, said the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (the Agreement), and the separate bi-lateral agreements announced with the New South Wales and South Australian governments, demonstrate and bring into effect an important inter-jurisdictional commitment to mental health and suicide prevention reform.
“Maintaining momentum and an ongoing commitment to prioritise mental health and suicide prevention systems reform is vitally important. Progressing the reform agenda takes collective commitment and governments, their representatives, and mental health and suicide prevention sector leaders are to be congratulated on this milestone.”
“At the heart of our efforts is the commitment and determination of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide. Without their courage and tenacity, this would not have been possible.”
“Individual bi-lateral agreements provide clarity on how reform initiatives will be brought about in each jurisdiction. We look forward to the ongoing cooperation between all States and Territories as the national reform agenda is advanced to support every Australian to live a contributing life in a thriving community,” Ms Morgan said.
The Commission’s Chair, Mrs Lucy Brogden AM, was pleased with the progress made in the Agreement and noted the response to key recommendations made in seminal reports and advice guiding all government’s considerations.
The main areas noted by the Commission in the Agreement include:
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities between the Commonwealth and States and Territories for areas of the mental health and suicide prevention systems.
- Recognise and invest in service improvements and innovative models of care that support children and young people, adults, and those with complex needs.
- Focus and build cooperative and nationally consistent approaches to monitoring and evaluation of services.
- Commitment to reduce gaps in the system of care.
- Recognition and commitment to expand and enhance the mental health and suicide prevention workforce, including the peer workforce.
“Since its inception in 2012 the Commission’s work has highlighted the need for a nationally consistent, comprehensive and compassionate mental health care and suicide prevention system that goes beyond the health system. National cooperation and investment will help us establish an equitable mental health and suicide prevention system where standards, quality and consistency of support and affordable care are accessible for all Australians,”
“The Commission is working towards a long-term future when Australians at risk of, or experiencing, mental illness and suicidality can access a connected and well-functioning system,” Mrs Brogden said.