13 May 2020
The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) has today welcomed the appointment of leading Australian psychiatrist Dr Ruth Vine, as new Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health within the Chief Medical Officer’s team at the Australian Department of Health.
The Commission’s CEO, Christine Morgan, acknowledges the significance of Dr Vine’s appointment and three decades of experience and expertise as a psychiatrist and leader in mental health at state and Federal levels.
"Dr Vine’s appointment recognises the importance the Australian Government is placing on Australia’s mental health and wellbeing. Her new role will strengthen the coordinated medical and mental health response and decision-making to the COVID-19 pandemic, and support the delivery of mental health system reforms for all Australians,” said Ms Morgan.
“We look forward to working with Dr Vine to further strengthen the significant commitment the Commission has to ensuring that every Australian has access to the type of mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention support they need.”
Dr Vine is a consultant psychiatrist with more than 25 years’ experience at a senior level in community and hospital based mental health services, community based aged persons’ mental health services, mental health short stay in Emergency Departments, homeless people with mental illness, and working with police about mental health.
“Dr Vine’s clinical expertise will further complement the Commission’s clinical and research expertise that exists on the Commission’s Advisory Board, and the strong commitment the Commission has to cross-sector and lived experience consultation," Ms Morgan said.
National Mental Health Commission Chair, Lucy Brogden, said the Commission plays a leading role in assisting the Australian Government to develop a mental health system that will enable all Australians to live a contributing life; by monitoring and reporting on investments in mental health and suicide prevention, and by being a catalyst for change to achieve improvements.
“The Commissioners of the Advisory Board look forward to working with Dr Vine, and providing a coordinated response to the mental health and wellbeing needs of all Australians during COVID-19 and through recovery,” Mrs Brogden said.
“Access to quality mental health services and programs, regardless of your age, postcode, social or financial situation, is a tenet of our health system. Now more than ever it is important to strengthen our mental health leadership to ensure that the commitments now and into the future to mental health system reform address the barriers to access, and ensure that affordability and geography are not barriers to wellness."
Media contact: Jenny Muir – 0415 401 200
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