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Australia’s First National Mental Health Commission

24 January 2012 at 10:39 am
Staff Reporter
The Federal Government has launched a National Mental Health Commission to monitor services for people with mental illness.

Staff Reporter | 24 January 2012 at 10:39 am


Australia’s First National Mental Health Commission
24 January 2012 at 10:39 am

The Federal Government has launched a National Mental Health Commission to monitor services for people with mental illness.

The Commission is led by Professor Allan Fels as Chair and eight Commissioners and willformally meet for the first time today to begin work on a National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Speaking at the official launch in Sydney, the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler said: “The Commission will put Australia’s mental health services under the spotlight. It will bring much needed transparency to our system – it will give us insights into service gaps, where we need to do more and where services are working and working well.

“One of the Commission’s first priorities will be to deliver the first annual National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – a key election commitment of the Gillard Government. This is important data that will allow us to monitor whether services are working effectively to deliver lasting outcomes for people with mental illness,” Butler said. 

“The new Commission will advocate for the needs of consumers and carers, which should be at the front and centre of policy making. We want to ensure these needs are given the priority they warrant by all levels of government,” Professor Fels said.

"Governments need to do better in mental health. We hope to help them do that by more clearly identifying the gaps in the system.

“Our wide variety of relationships and our independence from the agencies that fund and deliver mental health services will give us a unique perspective from which to provide our public reports and advice.”

The eight Commissioners are: 

Mr Peter Bicknell;
Ms Jackie Crowe;
Dr Pat Dudgeon;
Professor Ian Hickie AM;
Mr Rob Knowles AO;
Ms Janet Meagher AM;
Ms Samantha Mostyn; and
Professor Ian Webster AO.

The CEO of the Commission is Robyn Kruk AM.  

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One comment

  • says:

    One thing that is never talked about is mental health parents that don't have custody but do have overnight access to their children.

    Yes mental health parents are more likely to end up homeless and I have seen it first hand as it also has happened to me. This is a sad situation but there is another problem that never gets talked about. Inadequate housing for the children of mental health victims.

    Let me explain:

    Normal snapshot of adult mental health,

    A person is normal, they get sick of mind in other peoples views and long story short, they lose homes, jobs, relationships and children. Some may end up homeless but most end up on the pension, so we can see straight away that this group of diseased mind don't have much money, this is a very stressful time for the victim, to find accomondation that they can afford, it is normally one room or shared accomondation homes, so think, what if this person who had a life proir to their illness had children!

    Even if they are judged able to have overnight stays with their children, where do the children sleep with these patients/parents.

    What about patients with Family law and state based child safety department orders, how long do you think they will have access to their children if they can't bed them!!!!!!!!!!! If there is hospital stays for the patient, they do lose accomondation

    I know even normal people have these problems but mental health make diseased mind people pay for there treatment and have no answers to help accomondate family. This is a very stressful time for anyone but is more likely to end in suicide for someone not coping with their life and the gaps in our help from the mental health system.

    The other thing that mental health departments don't talk about is the different treatment(meaning physical not drugs) that dads need to the treatment that mums need, male and female homones act and react differently so patients and their family should be treated as individual cases, the system should look at the blood/adoptive relationships of patients and their children, not have one diagnoses one solution, its a healthy community issue.

    They say that it takes a community to raise a child but mental health parents are excluded, which would make anyone down and the mental health system would diagnoses this situation as depression and give drugs when all the situation may need is comfortable access to family with a guaranteed stability for the future.

    If the mental health person falls faul of the law somehow the court system in australia is not designed to make the real decisions that a ill of mind parent needs, they just see the answer is another order, its like a jail term without the benefit of accomondation and meals, mental health and the courts say there being kind but its more like suffer unstable mind! The orders take away rights with no answers.

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