Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health Draft Report

Anna Siddall

Mental Health Australia welcomes the careful thinking in the Draft Report, which provides a contemporary statement of the breadth and depth of the community and economic impact of mental health issues. The Productivity Commission has worked hard to properly place the experience of mental illness in a broader social context, and has grappled with details of accountability and governance.

The Productivity Commission has consulted widely, actively listened, and articulated issues well in its Draft Report. However, gaps emerge in the articulation of action to address these issues in the form of concrete recommendations. The Draft Report offers a foundation to build upon by focussing on fixing what is in place now; however it is not enough to do what we are doing now but better. In our submission, Mental Health Australia calls on the Productivity Commission to build on the Draft Report to set out an ambitious vision and agenda for mental health reform.

This ambitious vision and agenda must outline a world class mental health system, which balances clinical and social care and support and is led by mental health consumers and carers. The Productivity Commission’s Final Report must recommend tangible structures to ensure consumer- and carer-led design, significant growth of community based mental health services, and address the social determinants of mental health.

Mental Health Australia’s submission is framed around the nine ‘key principles’ of Charter 2020: Time to Fix Mental Health. These principles are supported by more than 120 organisations across the mental health and suicide prevention sectors, and outline what is required for Australia to progress towards a world class mental health system. Using these key principles as a guide, Mental Health Australia’s submission provides advice to assist the Productivity Commission to realise this once in a generation opportunity for substantive mental health reform.

Mental Health Australia looks forward to continuing to assist the Productivity Commission in this work.

To read the full submission, please click here.

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