There are well-established systems in place across Australia to make sure our children (even before they are born) receive physical health checks, medical care and education appropriate to their age and development.
These systems are well established and accessible because we know how important the early years are for a child's future.
By contrast, no such system exists to support children’s mental health.
We now know half of all mental health conditions begin by the age of 14 and half of the Australian population will be affected by a mental health condition across their lifetime.
To address this problem, Beyond Blue is suggesting the Australian Government develops a national system of mental health support for every child from birth to 12 years, their parents and carers.
How you can help us get it right
To tackle this topic Beyond Blue is hosting two workshops along with conversations with other experts in the area.
During the workshops health professionals, educators and Blue Voices members will be asked "if we took children’s mental health as seriously as their physical health or education, what sort of system would we need and how would that change family journeys from conception to high school?"
This is a unique and exciting opportunity to have your say on the position Beyond Blue will take on this important matter.
The feedback from the workshops will directly guide the policy submission.
In September 2018 Beyond Blue ran a 'Policy Reform Survey' to help us better understand how we should influence mental health and suicide prevention policies in Australia.
Almost 700 people took part in the Policy Reform Survey and the results showed three key areas where Beyond Blue can best push for change to improve mental health outcomes:
- Early Intervention / Low Intensity Services
- Childhood Mental Health Services and Education
- Suicide Prevention Services and Education
We're now hosting a series of workshops focused on these three areas to test the ideas and take them to the next level of detail. The workshops will gather insights for the three focus areas on the following questions:
- How would these ideas work in practice?
- How do we build on what’s working and let go of what isn’t?
- What are the challenges and how should we tackle them?
- How can we partner with others to have greater influence?
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) will be conducting the workshops.
Applications for the putting children first policy workshops are now closed. If you're interested in this project please contact the Blue Voices team
for an update and more information.