CEO Update - It's time to fix mental health

It’s time to fix mental health

It is time to fix mental health. It is time to act on the reviews, act on the many promises of reform… and most importantly it is time to keep listening, and learning from consumers and carers.

The time is right because the sector is united and calling for real reform.

United in calling for real accountability: targets that the community can embrace and get behind.

United in calling for real, long term investment in the future mental wealth of our nation.

The time is right because the new Minister for Health has identified the priority.  The time is right because these issues are so often multi-partisan and Opposition and the Greens are also engaged (and have committed to our Parliamentary Advocacy Day in March!) – Where we as a sector will be asked to highlight key priorities for Government to address.

Consistent with our united voice on these issues, and following the lead of the National Mental Health Commission’s Review, the following priority actions would be a strong first step:

  • Adopt targets and indicators to bring accountability today, and drive the right investments for the future.
  • Support people in the community by funding psychosocial support programs in the community, based on the success of programs like Partners in Recovery, Personal Helpers and Mentors, Mental Health Nurses, and other forms of community support.
  • Publish a 10 year plan for expanding investment, scaling up our efforts at prevention and early intervention so every that Australian has access to age appropriate and culturally safe community based support services and online interventions.

Parts of Australia’s mental health system are now undergoing major administrative change, and some are being dismantled, but we believe the progress of reform is too slow and isn’t making a real difference for the community.

Too many Australians are being left without services, the suicide rate is at 10-year high, and too many people are caring for loved ones without adequate support.

The Coalition Government says it is committed to ‘once in a generational reform’ for mental health and are likely to receive support for further, lasting reform from an equally committed opposition, crossbench and Senate.

It’s up to us to secure these commitments.

It’s time to fix mental health.

Frank Quinlan

Chief Executive Officer




Lachlan Searle
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