Beyond Blue Chairman The Hon Jeff Kennett AC has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, of membership of an Expert Reference Group.
The group has been formed to provide independent advice to the Federal Government on its response to the recommendations made in the National Mental Health Commission Report, released in mid-April.
“I am pleased that the Minister has asked the group to get on with the job quickly. We don’t need more drawn-out discussions about what is wrong with our mental health system. We already know it’s a complex, fragmented and hard-to-navigate system, and the people who suffer the most are the very people and families who need the most help.
“I hope as a result of the Expert Reference Group’s advice and Government’s quick response, some decisive and practical initiatives are identified and resolved, so people with depression, anxiety and at risk of suicide – and their families – get better outcomes. Let’s not just talk about preventing illness and ‘early intervention’, let’s make this a reality, so people don’t have to reach crisis point before they can access services.
“At Beyond Blue, we’re ready to participate in finding solutions with the Expert Reference Group, all tiers of government, and leaders in the mental health sector to help bring about positive change quickly.
“People with mental health issues deserve to have the same ready access to services as people with physical ailments – and the dedicated workers in the mental health sector need certainty about what their futures look like,” Jeff Kennett said.