Perspectives - December 2014

Welcome to the December/January edition of Perspectives, our online magazine where we present ideas, essays, and articles about what is happening in the mental health space.

In this edition’s feature article, David Meldrum, Executive Director of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia explains the complexity of implementing Tier 3 Mental Health funding and services in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

We also have articles from our members, including a discussion about inclusive practices for LGBTI consumers of mental health services; the gap in research on the Australian experience of suicide; an article about the once-in-a-generation series of mental health system reforms in NSW; and a ‘101’ on eating disorders.

Other content from Mental Health Australia includes our Blueprint for Action on Mental Health; the results from our Continuity of Funding Survey; and 2014 wrap-up from Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan, outlining the key projects and activities which have kept us all busy.

Don’t forget, we are always looking for input from our members. If you have a perspective about mental health that you’d like to share, we want to hear from you. Contact us via

We’d also like you to engage with us. Do you have a comment on any of this month’s stories? Join the conversation on Twitter @

Enthusiasm and panic—the NDIS roll-out in mental health

Feature Story By David Meldrum, Executive Director, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia

David Meldrum from the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia discusses the NDIS roll-out and how experience, hope and optimism, may have led us astray, with people affected by serious mental illness and their families the potential losers.

Continuity of Funding Survey Results

By Mental Health Australia

The results of our recent Continuity of Funding survey are out and they are worse than anticipated. The results demonstrate the very real impact that funding uncertainty is having on organisations and underscores the urgent need for government to clarify funding arrangements.

Blueprint for Action on Mental Health

By Mental Health Australia

Our Blueprint for Action on Mental Health puts forward practical steps for implementation over the short, medium and longer term, to bring about the structural and systemic changes that will drive sustainable improvements in mental health outcomes.

The Year in Review - 2014

By Frank Quinlan, CEO, Mental Health Australia

2014 has been a busy year! In his last CEO Update for the year Frank Quinlan provides a wrap-up of the key projects and activities that the Mental Health Australia team have been working on including the NMHC Review, the Federal Budget and the roll-out of the NDIS.

From our Members

Inclusive practice critical in mental health and suicide prevention initiatives

By the National LGBTI Health Alliance

Many organisations have a growing awareness of the important role that inclusive practice plays in the efficacy of their mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. There is widespread enthusiasm for developing services that can respond deliberately to a diversity of bodies, genders, sexualities, and relationships. In this context, understanding the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) people becomes critical to positive health outcomes.

Lessons for Life

By SANE Australia

What are the experiences of Australians who have attempted suicide? Much of the research into suicide and suicide prevention has focused on expert opinion, quantitative studies, or data from other countries. There is a gap in the literature regarding the exploration of the stories of Australians who attempt suicide and how such lived experience can inform improvements to our suicide prevention efforts.

A new approach to mental health in NSW

By the Mental Health Commission of NSW

NSW has embarked on what Premier, Mike Baird, has called a once-in-a-generation series of mental health system reforms aimed to reduce the state’s over-reliance on crisis care in hospitals and to strengthen community-based support for people who experience mental illness.

Eating Disorders 101

By the National Eating Disorders Collaboration

Greater understanding of the facts about mental health and eating disorders leads not only to a more aware and accepting community, but also improves prevention, early identification and help-seeking. However research indicates that there are generally low levels of mental health literacy in the community in relation to eating disorders. A new video has been released that highlights key facts about eating disorders, dispels misconceptions and encourages help seeking.

Please note: The views of the contributors are their own, rather than those of Mental Health Australia.

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