Crucial recognition of the need for systemic change in mental health

Crucial recognition of the need for systemic change in mental health

Friday, 8 November 2019

We welcome the comprehensive reforms and recommendations for investment in the health, housing, justice and employment sectors made in the Productivity Commission draft report on mental health in Australia.

‘In its draft report, the Productivity Commission has given crucial recognition to the role a wide range of systems play in preventing mental health issues, or facilitating someone’s recovery,’ said Rowan McRae, Executive Director of Civil Justice, Access and Equity.

‘Having somewhere safe to live, access to psychosocial supports, regardless of whether someone is a National Disability Insurance Scheme participant or not, a supportive workplace, access to social security payments and legal assistance are all essential to help people live well in the community.’

Rowan McRae, Executive Director, Civil Justice, Access and Equity

‘Importantly, the report recognises that too many people are discharged from hospital or released from custody into homelessness – this is not acceptable.’

The Productivity Commission has also acknowledged the importance of legal and non-legal advocacy services like our Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service for people facing compulsory treatment.

‘We strongly endorse the recommendation to appropriately resource legal representation for people facing the Mental Health Tribunal and services like IMHA to help facilitate supported decision making in compulsory treatment settings,’ said Rowan.

‘We also endorse the recommendation for mental health services in correctional facilities to meet community standards, and for all people in prison to be assessed for mental health issues.'

 Dan Nicholson, Executive Director of Criminal Law

The report also makes recommendations to ensure consumers and carers participate fully in the design of policies and programs that affect their lives.

In our submission to the Productivity Commission we highlighted the stories of eight people whose mental health has affected, or been affected by, their housing, employment, imprisonment, family and care of their children, and ability to access appropriate treatment and support.

We reiterate that those with lived experience of mental health issues should shape the processes and outcomes of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry.

We look forward to continuing to contribute to this important inquiry, and to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

More information

Read about our submission to the Productivity Commission’s review into mental health.

Read more about our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

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