A select committee on mental health and suicide prevention has been established to consider a range of strategic reviews of the current mental health system, and whether the recommendations are fit for purpose to address the fallout from bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chair of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Dr Fiona Martin MP said, ‘While the bushfires were catastrophic, it was the emergence of COVID-19 that has changed everything. Over the last year, COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the mental health of many Australians through increased isolation, job loss and financial stress. In addition, there has been a reduction in access to face-to-face mental health services, with many changing to telephone support models, while crisis organisations and suicide prevention services experience higher demand. However, it has also seen innovation prioritised and communities rally to support one another’.
The Committee will begin the inquiry by reviewing the findings of the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, the Report of the National Suicide Prevention Officer, the Victorian Royal Commission and the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy. It will then turn its attention to the experiences and successes of mental health and suicide prevention stakeholders, from grassroots services through to international initiatives.
The Committee is accepting written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference and invites individuals and organisations to share their views with the Committee. The closing date for submissions is 24 March 2021. A guide to making a submission can be found on the website.
The Committee will also hold hearings as part of this inquiry so that it can hear from people who have relevant experience or expertise. The dates and locations for the Committee’s hearings will be published on the inquiry website.
The Committee is unable to intervene or provide advice in relation to individual circumstances. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact one of the services below:
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back 1300 659 467
Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
BeyondBlue 1300 224 636
eheadspace 1800 650 890