10 Jun 2021
Recent months have seen encouraging changes and significant steps towards mental health reform towards a strong mental health system where all Australians feel heard and supported. Earlier in the year, The Commission CEO and National Suicide Prevention Adviser to the Prime Minister, Christine Morgan, released her Final Advice after 18 months researching and engaging with Australians. The voice of lived experience shaped the series of reports more than any other source of inquiry and the clarion call was for a more connected and compassionate approach which takes support to people. Lived experience is key in shaping our mental health system, that's why the Commission has partnered with the International Association of Suicide Prevention as it hosts the 31st World Congress in September. In-person and virtual lived experience participation will be a hallmark of the Congress, with the Commission providing 150 bursaries to people who have experienced suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Earlier this month it was Reconciliation Week 2021. As many of you are aware, this year, the theme #MoreThanAWord encouraged us all to take impactful action towards reconciliation and recognised the role all Australians can play in amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and building communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures. The recent Budget included specific initiatives to improve the mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. For more information on how the 2021 Federal Budget will address the needs of specific priority populations, visit the Federal Budget page on our website.
As our friends, family and colleagues in Melbourne are faced with lockdowns, I encourage you to reach out and connect with them, and listen. For those of you impacted by these changing restrictions, remind yourself that it’s ok to not feel ok. Acknowledge any feelings of fatigue, frustration, anxiety or stress, and tell yourself its normal to have such feelings as a result of a lockdown, because it is normal. Accept these feelings and talk about them. Help is available right now, in person, online or on the phone (Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636).
Commission partners with International Association of Suicide Prevention for 31st World Congress
The National Mental Health Commission will partner with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, as it hosts the 31st World Congress on the Gold Coast from 21-24 September 2021. In-person and virtual lived experience participation will be a hallmark of the Congress, with the Commission providing 150 bursaries to people who have experienced suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Bursary applications close 15 June.
National Suicide Prevention Adviser Final Advice
In April 2021, National Suicide Prevention Adviser Christine Morgan launched the Final Report with a briefing webinar led by Australians with lived experience. More than 300 people registered to join the conversation, and the slides and webinar are now available for download on our website.
2021-22 Federal Budget - Mental Health commitments
The 2021-22 Federal Budget presents a foundational shift in the national response to mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.
It comes at a time when more Australians than ever are recognising the importance of seeking help for their mental ill health, and governments and the sector are united in their commitment to meet this need.
Learn what the 2021 Budget means for specific priority groups, on our website.
Men's Health Week
The Men's Health Week (14-21 June) is an opportunity for Australian men to consider how change and life stressors may be triggers for reactions like stress, anxiety and anger. It is also a time for us to connect with the men in our lives and talk to them about recognising these triggers. If you are not sure where to start, Movember Australia has developed Movember Conversations to help guide conversations with men who may be going through a tough time.
You can also create an online event to reach out to your community members and colleagues to support them.
Highly respected industry leader joins the Commission
The National Mental Health Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of mental health sector leader, Dr Michelle Blanchard.
Dr Blanchard has joined the Commission in the role of Special Adviser leading the development of the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy, a key recommendation of the Productivity Commission in to mental health announced by Government in December 2020.