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National report highlights progress in mental health reforms across Australia

04 Oct 2018

The National Mental Health Commission today released its 2018 report card on Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system.

Chair of the Commission, Lucy Brogden, said the report acknowledges the significant reforms currently underway across the mental health and disability sectors.

“Every day we see the dedication of individuals and organisations across Australia raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing, reducing associated stigmas and developing accessible evidence-based treatment and recovery services,” Lucy Brogden said.

“We recognise that more work needs to be done, particularly to ensure access to services across the mental health system. We are impressed by the strong culture of continuous improvement and collaboration we see right around Australia.”

Interim CEO, Ms Maureen Lewis, said the Commission’s report highlights the importance of prevention, early intervention and a focus on the social determinants of health to reduce the impact of mental illness.

“Good mental health starts in infancy, so it is essential that parents, carers and early childhood educators are skilled and supported to give children the best start toward a lifetime of good mental health,” Ms Lewis said.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, welcomed the Commission’s report saying it will assist in strengthening the delivery of improved services and programs.

“The Government is committed to continuing its work to improve mental health services for all Australians. The Commission’s report shows us that progress is being made across this important sector.”

The National Report 2018 also refers to the strong link between physical and mental health, the elimination of seclusion and restraint in mental health facilities and the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Commission will separately report on the progress of implementation of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. This report will be submitted to COAG on 12 October.