Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Final Report

On Monday 16 November 2020, the Australian Government tabled the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Final Report.

Read Mental Health Australia’s first brief analysis of the Final Report here.

Analysis of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health: final report


Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Draft Report

On Thursday 31 October 2019, the Productivity Commission released its Draft Report. The Productivity Commission estimates that mental ill-health and suicide are costing Australia up to $180 billion per year and treatment and services are not meeting community expectations. “Mental ill-health has huge impacts on people, communities and our economy but mental health is treated as an add-on to the physical health system. This has to change,” Productivity Commission Chair, Michael Brennan said.

Read the Draft Report here.

On the day the Draft Report was released, Mental Health Australia hosted a webinar for members and stakeholders with presiding Commissioner Dr Stephen King and Commissioner Ms Julie Abramson. 

You can access the notes from the webinar here.


Mental Health Australia also provided a Quick Scan Summary of the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on the day of its release.

You can read the Quick Scan Summary here.


Mental Health Australia then released a more detailed Preliminary Analysis of the Draft Report the week following its release.

You can read the Preliminary Analysis here.  (Attachment A can be accessed here)


Mental Health Australia submitted a response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report in January 2020.

You can read this submission here.


Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

In October 2018, the Government announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into the role of mental health in supporting economic participation and enhancing the nation’s productivity. Over 18 months, the inquiry will consider how mental illness can affect all aspects of a person’s quality of life including physical health, social participation, education, employment and financial status.

Our submissions:

Read Mental Health Australia’s first submission here.

Read Mental Health Australia’s second submission (Global Evidence Review) here.

Read Mental Health Australia’s third submission (Intergovernmental Arrangements) here.


Read Mental Health Australia’s submission in response to the Draft Report here.


What next?

The Commission is seeking further information and feedback following the release of the draft report on 31 October 2019.

Submissions are due by Thursday 23 January 2020.

The Productivity Commission is advising that they will hold public hearings on the following dates and locations:

  • 15 November - Canberra
  • 18-19 November - Melbourne
  • 20 November - Geraldton
  • 21 November - Perth
  • 25-26 November - Sydney
  • 28 November - Broken Hill
  • 2 December - Rockhampton
  • 3 December - Brisbane
  • 9 December - Launceston

Adelaide and Darwin public hearings will be held at dates to be advised in early 2020. Public hearings provide participants with the opportunity to elaborate on their submissions, respond to submissions of others, and to discuss issues with Commissioners. The transcripts of the hearings will be made available publicly on the Commission’s website. Any organisation or person can participate, either to appear and discuss their submissions or to observe the proceedings. 

Register for a Public Hearing here.

Final report to Government and release

The final inquiry report is to be handed to the Australian Government by 23 May 2020.

The release of the final report by the Government is the final step in the process.

Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt.

Productivity Commission Mental Health Policy Network

Throughout the duration of the Inquiry, Mental Health Australia will convene a series of teleconferences for Members. These networking meetings will aim to:

  • Keep members up to date on the progress of the Inquiry,
  • Discuss key policy topics raised during the Inquiry, and
  • Provide an opportunity for Members collaborate at key stages of the Inquiry.

Stay informed

We will frequently update this section of the website with the latest news, issues papers and reports from the Commission as the Inquiry progresses. This page will also feature information on upcoming Policy Network teleconferences and Mental Health Australia submissions as they are released. 

You can also stay up to date via our weekly CEO Update newsletter. If you don’t already receive these updates, you can sign up to join the mailing list here.


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