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Mental Health Needs 21st Century Approach


7 July 2010 at 4:10 pm
Staff Reporter
Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra calling on the Federal Government to adopt a 21st century approach to mental health.


Staff Reporter | 7 July 2010 at 4:10 pm


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Mental Health Needs 21st Century Approach
7 July 2010 at 4:10 pm

Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra calling on the Federal Government to adopt a 21st century approach to mental health.

Professor McGorry recommended a 5 point plan to update what he describes as Australia?s failing mental health care system with a 21st Century model that saves lives and averts disability.

Prof. McGorry outlined how expanding services, focusing on young people in the most productive stage of life and implementing recent innovations in mental healthcare can benefit Australians.

He says expanding services can eliminate many of the 370,000 Australian life-years lost annually to mental ill-health, make suicide less common and reduce social problems such as homelessness, family breakdown and violence.

He says the building blocks of a genuinely 21st Century approach to care already exist in Australia and there is widespread consensus about what those building blocks are.

He says Australia can, and should, make an immediate start by investing $540m per year towards improving mental health services – including youth mental health priorities such as headspace and early psychosis services, community awareness campaigns, rapid response teams, social housing and suicide prevention.

He says an Auspoll conducted in June 2010 found 83% of Australians support this level of investment in mental health.

Prof. McGorry added that the investment in services should be complemented with a $100m a year research investment in mental health.

He continued by saying that initial investment would be a first step and not a final destination.

A 10 year action plan, with measurable goals and targets, focused on the areas of leadership, funding, access, skills and accountability is also required to address all systemic issues and ensure that all Australians have the same access to quality care for mental and physical health by 2020.

He says the action plan should aim to set meaningful targets, lift funding for mental health to levels similar to comparable countries, make access to quality care the norm, continuously develop new knowledge, best practice and the workforce and ensure that services meet measurable benchmarks and are acceptable to users.
 



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2 comments

  • Forgotten Australian Genocide Descendants Forgotten Australian Genocide Descendants says:

    Address child abuse first – many of the mentally ill are mentally injured.

  • Bill Bill says:

    The first thing that any research grants for mental health research should refute is the shocking implication made by Whitaker and others that drug based therapies are actually causing a massive increase in the long term mentally ill in spite of their obvious short term benefits. If this could be shown to be the utter nonsense that it is, we could safely implement Prof. McGorry’s plans to introduce drugs at earlier and earlier ages and perhaps stamp out the scourge of mental illness forever without having to worry about turning a minor breakdown into a lifelong illness.

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