2,942,599 Registered voters demand a commitment to mental health, August 2013

The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) has today renewed calls for an immediate commitment to mental health reform by all sides of politics, following a complete lack of acknowledgement for the issue by party leaders during the current election campaign.

“One in five Australians will experience mental illness this year. That means almost three million voters have an acute interest in this issue and demand an ongoing commitment for change from their potential leaders,” MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan said.

“The MHCA has written to every single Federal Member of Parliament and every single Senator, calling on them to work with us and their constituents to build the best mental health system in the world.”

Following the release of its major publication “Perspectives”, the MHCA has called on every federal politician to consider the specific mental health needs of the people in their electorate, and to make all party leaders take an interest in system reform.

“We propose a coordinated, long term approach to programs and policy. This is critical to creating an inclusive system that empowers people who experience mental illness to lead productive, contributing lives. That’s why we have called on politicians of all persuasions to work with us to help achieve this vital reform,” Mr Quinlan said.

  • Amongst its demands for this election, the MHCA is calling for:
  • Agreed 10 year targets and indicators for good mental health in Australia, with endorsement by both COAG and the non-government mental health sector
  • A national peer workforce strategy, including a national training and accreditation strategy
  • A national funded and targeted public awareness campaign aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination
  • A fully funded inquiry into:
    • The costs of mental illness, both direct and indirect
    • The value of good mental health, including implications for productivity
    • The best investments in mental health, including promotion, prevention and early intervention
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