News

Terms of reference for mental health inquiry announced


Morgan Liotta


23/11/2018 1:04:17 PM

The Government has announced the terms of reference and an Associate Commissioner for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into mental health.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the inquiry into mental health will enable better support for people living with mental health issues. (Image: Joel Carrett)
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the inquiry into mental health will enable better support for people living with mental health issues. (Image: Joel Carrett)

Professor Harvey Whiteford has been appointed as Associate Commissioner to assist commissioners Dr Stephen King and Julie Abramson with the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into mental health.
 
Professor Whiteford is a member of the National Mental Health Commission’s Advisory Board.
 
The inquiry’s terms of reference  will include examination of:

  • the effect of supporting mental health on economic and social participation and productivity
  • how sectors beyond health (education, employment, social services) can contribute to improving mental health and economic participation and productivity
  • the effectiveness of current programs and initiatives across all jurisdictions (governments, employers professionals) to improve mental health, suicide prevention and participation.
‘The inquiry [into mental health] will be able to make recommendations as to how the Government can better support Australians living with mental illness, to enable them to lead fulfilling and contributing lives,’ Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
 
The Productivity Commission’s inquiry will also consider how mental illness can affect all aspects of a person’s quality of life, including physical health, social participation, education, employment and financial status.
 
It is designed to look at how governments, employers, professional and community groups in healthcare, education, employment, social services, housing and justice can contribute to improving mental health for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
 
The inquiry comes at a time when mental health has been recognised as perhaps the key issue in modern Australian general practice.
 
The RACGP’s General practice: Health of the nation 2018 report identified mental health issues as the most common reason patients book consultations with their GPs. GPs also consider mental health as the health issue causing them the most concern for the future, and as a key area that needs to be prioritised by the Federal Government for policy action.
 
The Commission will be accepting submissions and encourages all interested parties – including carers and patients – to participate. Public consultations, including in regional areas, will also be held.
 
The Commission is due to report to Government within 18 months.



mental health inquiry Productivity Commission terms of reference