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Statement regarding National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

Statement regarding National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

The National Mental Health Commission today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley on the need for strong partnerships between the Commonwealth and the states and territories to address serious mental health issues in this country over the long term.

"While the Review Report has not yet been formally released, the Commission considers that there should be no reduction in Commonwealth money going in to states and territories. However, better coordination and more efficient use of expenditure is needed to help achieve better outcomes for individuals, families, communities and the Australian economy,” Commission Chair Prof. Allan Fels said.

"Redirecting Commonwealth funding over time from growth in hospital funding to community and primary health care is consistent with directions presented in mental health reviews and reports over the past 40 years. This could commence in two years’ time to allow for adequate planning.

The aim is to put additional funds into services which keep people out of hospital, take the pressure off state and territory hospitals and emergency departments, keep people in their homes with their families and other support people, enable them to lead contributing lives and maximise value for taxpayers.

Part of this includes working with the states and territories to better coordinate roles and funding arrangements in mental health and suicide prevention, but certainly not to reduce the part the states and territories play.

We are confident that when the Government releases the full report there will be an opportunity for government and mental health experts to work together to improve the lives of millions of Australians," Prof. Allan Fels said.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.