New Ten Year Plan for Australian Mental Health

A draft Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform has been released for a short public consultation.

 

Today the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, and the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, invited Australians to help carve out the future of our mental health system with the release of the draft Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform for public consultation.

 

The Roadmap will provide governments, the community sector, workplaces and communities themselves with a measurable, long term national reform plan for mental health which will guide where we focus our attention and funding over the next 10 years and ensure our mental health system ranks as one of the world’s best.

 

Mr Butler said,“We especially need to target our efforts at those who are hard-to-reach and vulnerable, and stop them from falling between the cracks and from being shunted from one service to another.

 

“We also need to work harder to break down the stigma, discrimination and misunderstanding that often surrounds mental illness.”

 

The Roadmap will identify the most important directions and actions that need to be undertaken to achieve this vision over the next ten years.

 

The community will be able to provide their comments on the Roadmap through a new online tool available from 17 January 2012 until 1 February 2012.

 

“COAG agreed to develop the Roadmap in 2011 and the Australian Government, States and Territories have been working hard alongside mental health experts and consumer and carer representatives to develop this draft,” Mr Butler said.

 

“We want to get this Roadmap right and we want the community to be involved in the process which is why we are making it available for public comment.

 

“The public comments will be used to help finalise the roadmap for COAG to consider in early 2012.”

 

The online survey tool is an open form of consultation to help gather the broadest range of feedback on the draft roadmap. It will be available from today until 1 February 2012 on the mental health page of the Department of Health and Ageing website – www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth.

 

The federal Opposition commented that The Federal Government has allowed only two weeks for people to comment on its Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform.

 

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, said the arrogance shown by the Labor Government was breathtaking.

 

“The Gillard Government claims to have mental health as a second term priority but it has released its 42-page draft version of its Roadmap and then given people only two weeks to comment,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

 

“In case they had not noticed, many people are still on annual leave or preparing to return their children to school.

 

“Is this really a consultation period or a gesture to trick people into thinking they have had a say?

 

“The Roadmap appears to be a wish list with little detail but since the budget, we have had the appointment and then the withdrawal of the nomination of Monsignor David Cappo as Mental Health Commissioner, the shrinking of the Better Access program and lots of talk but little action on mental health."

 

17 January 2012.