Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson has welcomed the recent Productivity Commission report into the mental health system as a valuable contribution to the sector.
“The report adds to the growing body of evidence highlighting the social determinants of mental health – how our mental health is connected to so many other parts of our lives. When our wellbeing suffers in one area, our mental health is at greater risk,” Minister Davidson said.
“The report calls for a focus on early intervention and for governments to work in a coordinated way, which is certainly our goal in the ACT.”
The Productivity Commission Inquiry examined the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate and prosper in the community and workplaces, and the effects mental health and wellbeing have more generally on our economy and productivity.
“While the report highlights the impact of mental ill-health on the economy, the primary reason to invest in mental health is of course the wellbeing of people,” Minister Davidson said.
“The report highlights that almost half of adults meet the criteria for mental illness at some point in their lives. That could be any one of us, our family or our friends.
“This year has been particularly difficult. Our community has faced challenges to their mental health and wellbeing, the effects of which we will see for years to come.
“Providing support as early as possible, in the course of our lives and during an episode of mental ill-health, supports sustainable mental health and wellbeing across our community.
“My focus is not only on increasing the capacity of mental health facilities in Canberra, but also on improving early intervention and prevention responses so that people can be supported to remain in the community where possible – no matter what challenges our community is facing.”
The Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the 10th Assembly sets out a range of preventative, early intervention and response strategies, including improving programs that target and support young people’s mental health, eating disorders, people presenting with combined alcohol and/or drug and mental health support needs, First Nations’ mental health and suicide prevention and postvention, respite for mental health carers and increasing supports for perinatal mental health and wellbeing.
“As a Government, we are now considering the recommendations of the report, to progress the positive work already underway across the region and acknowledge there are still areas that can be strengthened.
“We look forward to working with the community to continue developing a holistic mental health system,” Minister Davidson said.