On 25 November 2015 the much awaited Federal Governments response to the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services was released. This is a major step in mental health reform.

In Australia, almost four million people will experience a mental illness in any one year. The Government’s response recognised that more efficient and sustainable approaches are needed to address the current fragmented mental health system.

The response highlights need for action and includes nine key reform areas that the Government will start work on. These areas include:

  • A new national mental health digital gateway, with a centralised phone and web portal to make it easier for people to get information, advice or online mental health support.
  • Moving towards a ‘stepped care’ approach in primary mental health care, so that people can get support in the community that meets their needs at different stages of mental ill-health.
  • Moving towards regionally planned mental health support and services systems, through the Primary Health Networks, to better understand and meet local needs.
  • Focus on early intervention and prevention across the lifespan; a life course approach to prevention, early intervention and recovery.

BEING particularly welcomes the Government’s plan to focus on consumer and carer participation in policy, programme development and delivery, and peer support. This includes the development of a consumers and carers participation framework.  We look forward to hearing more details about the framework.

The government’s response is available online here.

A factsheet which summarises the government’s response is available here.

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