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Investment in healthy minds and bodies given equal focus in Australia’s long term national health plan

14 Aug 2019

The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to taking an ‘equally well approach’ to every Australian’s health. The Commission is pleased to support Government and community to work towards a system that is able to respond and prevent physical and mental ill heath equally.

In today’s Press Club address by the Hon. Greg Hunt Minister for Health, the Government’s ongoing prioritisation of mental health and suicide prevention was reiterated with specific announcements made as part of the long-term health plan including:

  • A National Children’s Mental Health Strategy is to be delivered by the Commission and led by Professor Frank Oberklaid and Professor Christel Middeldorp
  • Support to re-establish the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Additional support for development of adult mental health centres to serve the ’missing middle’
  • A new partnership for an integrated mental health system between federal and state government will work to address the gaps between GP and hospital funding
  • Funding for Million Minds research dedicated for suicide prevention. 

National Mental Health Commission Chair, Ms Lucy Brogden, recognised the importance of a whole of government and whole of person approach to enable all Australians to live and lead contributing lives: 

“A mental health system that supports the needs of individuals and looks beyond hospitals and health services to further support us in our homes and broader community, is essential to fostering good mental health and wellbeing at every stage of our lives.”

“Investing in better understanding and innovation through national surveys and research, as well as Australia’s first mental health strategy for children are much needed steps we must take as a country.”

The Commission’s CEO Christine Morgan agrees and says today’s announcements align with what Australians are sharing as part of the current Connections Project.

“The way we talk about mental health and suicide prevention has come a long way thanks to the good work of many organisations, communities and individuals. However, we will only achieve a society where physical and mental health are equally valued and cared for, if we fundamentally shift our structures and systems to match this whole of person view.”

“In recent weeks, Australians in cities, small towns and local communities have shared their frustrations with the current system and big ideas for a mentally healthier Australia in 2030. Today’s announcements reflect what we are hearing is needed and I look forward to working toward a strategy that can meet our shared expectations.”