MHCA Submission to the NMHC’s Review of Existing Mental Health Programmes and Services

MHCA Submission to the NMHC’s Review of Existing Mental Health Programmes and ServicesThis is the third submission from the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) to the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) to inform the NMHC’s current review of mental health programmes. The MHCA’s first submission was made in November 2013 (see Appendix A) and the second in April 2014 (see Appendix B). 

The recommendations presented in earlier MHCA submissions remain critical to the task of achieving lasting mental health reform to improve consumer and carer outcomes, and we once again commend them to the NMHC and to government.

This submission builds on previous submissions by:

  • Describing the characteristics of a high-performing mental health system, emphasising the interdependency of clinical, psychosocial and other issues which contribute to the capacity of individuals to lead a contributing life;
  • Discussing some broader contextual factors which are critical to improving outcomes in the long-term, with reference to the National Commission of Audit, the 2014-15 Federal Budget, the McClure Review of Australia’s welfare system the Federation White Paper, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • Considering the challenges in achieving better coordination and integration within and across systems that people with mental health issues may encounter;
  • Describing the practical steps required to lay the structural foundations for reform; and 
  • Identifying other immediate priorities for action which are consistent with a long-term vision for reform.

In preparing this submission, the MHCA has also drawn on our pre-budget submission to the Government in February 2014.

The submission comprises following sections:

  • Charting a long term reform agenda 
  • Characteristics of a high-performing mental health system
  • Matching consumer and carer needs with the right assistance
  • Integration and coordination 
  • Promotion, prevention and early intervention 
  • The role of government in mental health 
  • Structural foundations for long term mental health reform 
  • Looking beyond traditional boundaries 
  • Four key areas that must be considered in order to manage the change over the long term 
  • Articulating the underpinning principles of good mental health; and 
  • Identifying common barriers and solutions to mental health reform 

The submission also includes appendices outlining key findings and recommendations from previous consultations/submissions undertaken by the MHCA on targets and indicators for long term mental health reform and the development of a set of principles to underpin good mental health.

A copy of the MHCA Submission to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Existing Mental Health Programmes and Services can be downloaded here.

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