What affects 1 in 5 people and costs Australia $181 billion each year? Mental health.
New Comprehensive Report
Last month the Productivity Commission released their draft report on mental health in Australia. The commission finds that in any one year, approximately one in five Australians experiences mental ill-health. Take a moment to reflect on how many people in your closest circles alone might be affected.
Conservative estimates by the commission place the direct cost of mental health and suicide in Australia to be $43 – $51 billion annually. Even more shocking is the $130 billion per year associated with diminished health, wellbeing and life expectancy as a result of mental ill-health. This takes the total cost to $181 billion.
There are 5 key areas of reform proposed in the report. Let’s take a deeper look.
👩⚕️ Prevention and early intervention for mental illness and suicide attempts
What does this mean? 🤷♂️ This is mostly about young people. It means pairing social and emotional development checks with physical development checks for growing kids. It means equipping schools with extra funding, training, resources and links to support services to ensure they can adequately support children’s wellbeing. It also means systematising proven suicide prevention techniques to try to make sure no one gets left behind.
🏥 Close critical gaps in healthcare services.
What does this mean? 🤷♂️ It means making access to mental healthcare services much, much easier. This involves things like; extended operating hours, improving the spread of care providers to adequately support regional areas, making use of online platforms, and speeding up access to healthcare.
🏡 Investment in services beyond health.
What does this mean? 🤷♂️ This means investing in long-term solutions for people with severe mental illness who also experience other social impacts such as homelessness or legal trouble. It means no discharges from care into homelessness, improving standards of care in correctional facilities, ensuring culturally capable care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and creating more inclusive communities.
👷🏻♀️ Assistance for people with mental illness to get into work and enable early treatment of work-related mental illness
What does this mean? 🤷♂️ This means including mental health in workplace health and safety, developing codes of practice for employers, providing no-liability clinical treatment for mental health related workers compensation claims, as well as rolling out work placement and support programs.
🛣️ Fundamental reform to care coordination, governance and funding arrangements
What does this mean? 🤷♂️ Reform 5 means clarifying and strengthening the governance and funding of Australia’s mental health systems AND creating clear, easy, seamless care pathways for people using the mental health system (including online platforms, single care plans for those receiving care from multiple providers and coordination services for people with the most complex needs).
We’re on Board
We’re on board, what do you think?
You can read the full report and provide feedback by visiting www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/mental-health/make-submission#lodge.