Beyond Blue today welcomed the release by the Prime Minister of the Final Report of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health and the National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s Interim Advice.
Beyond Blue Chair the Hon Julia Gillard AC said: “These are seminal reports that will shape the future of the mental health and suicide prevention systems in this country. Importantly, they put people at the centre of what we hope will be landmark reforms.”
“Beyond Blue looks forward to working with governments, sector colleagues and, crucially, people affected by mental health issues and suicide, to remake these systems so they provide the right support at the right time for all people in Australia.”
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman backed moves towards a seamless system in which States, Territories and the Commonwealth planned and co-ordinated effort and investment through a new formal National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.
“Throughout 2020, from the bushfires to the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed governments working differently together, and with NGOs and communities across Australia to achieve positive public health outcomes,” Ms Harman said.
“We have an opportunity now to do the same for Australian’s mental health and wellbeing.
“A new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement will help clarify funding, roles and responsibilities across different levels of government. This is a fundamental step towards achieving the structural reform the system needs.”
The Productivity Commission report identified the need for prevention and early intervention in mental health, the potential in low-intensity approaches and the priority need for a national digital mental health platform. It also recognised the need to look outside of the healthcare system.
“We know that our mental health is influenced by what’s happening around us – by our jobs, our relationships, our housing – and the Commission’s report acknowledges the impact of these social determinants.”
National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s Interim Advice addresses a pathway towards a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention.
“Beyond Blue looks forward to going through these substantial and comprehensive reports in more detail and participating in the consultation process over the coming months,” Ms Harman said.
The Beyond Blue Support Service is available via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses within 24 hours).
The new Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au. Its dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response, is now open on 1800 512 348.