As the national Parliament prepares to sit in just over a week there has never been a more important time for the Government to consider the mental health of our nation, and release the Final Report from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health.
The Final Report will guide us in setting the framework for improving the mental health of our communities, our people in tight lockdowns, our front line health professionals, our families dealing with despair as a result of loss through bushfire, flood, economic hardship, and death as a result of the virus.
In recent weeks, state and federal announcements of new funding initiatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic have been welcome and will target the increased need for services and support at a community level, especially in Victoria during this very challenging time.
The mental health impact of this pandemic is becoming evident and will create huge challenges for response, now and well into the future.
The impact of lost jobs, lost hope, lost personal connections and long periods of uncertainty for many, will only add to the already difficult challenges that our mental health ecosystem was tackling pre-pandemic.
If only there was a blueprint ready to go, to help meet this enormous challenge.
I believe there is. The Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health report has been more than 18 months in the making.
It is a report that has seen extensive expert input, wide consideration of the challenges, and broad respectful consultation.
We know this report looks at both the social and health benefits of improving our mental health system, as well as the governance and economic solutions that could see it thrive.
The importance of its timing, and timely release, could never have been foreseen, but we need to see it now. The mental health ecosystem stands ready to advise on, and participate in, galvanizing the recommendations we have been instrumental in informing. And waiting for.
In other countries around the world, just like Australia, the mental health impacts of the pandemic have been clear for months and will continue to grow.
However we are fortunate in that we have a head start, as the Productivity Commission’s Final Report could well be the blueprint to guide us through, and then out of, the mental health pandemic we’re all facing.
Yes, this Final Report will land in a crowded space.
And yes, navigating this crowded space will be the key challenge for the federal Government in crafting a response to the Final Report.
A report that has received so much consideration and consultation it only amplifies its magnitude and potential. A report we cannot wait any longer for, especially at such a critical time for the mental health of our nation.
And a report which needs to be released now.
Have a good weekend.
Mental Health Australia is delighted to announce our partner organisations who will deliver Community Connector services to support people with psychosocial disability to engage with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).