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Consultation welcome on draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan

21 October 2016

Minsterial media release: The Hon Sussan Ley MP

The community is being invited to have their say on a new national plan that aims to improve the lives of people with mental health issues. 

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the consultation draft for the Fifth National Mental Health Plan has been approved by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) on behalf of all Health Ministers and is now ready for public comment.

“This is an important document and has been widely anticipated by the mental health sector,” Minister Ley said.

“The Fifth National Mental Health Plan articulates national priorities for collaboration across states and territories, the Australian Government, the sector and consumers on mental health for the next five years.

“Mental illness is a significant health and social issue. One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 years will experience a mental disorder each year and almost half will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime. In addition, almost one in seven young people aged four to 17 years were assessed as having a mental disorder in the previous year. 

“The Fifth Plan recognises that consumers and carers need to be at the centre of the way in which services are planned and delivered and is focused on actions that will genuinely make a difference for consumers and carers.

“The Fifth Plan contains seven priority areas, which have been identified for action in close collaboration with the mental health sector.” 

The seven priority areas include:

    • Integrated regional planning and service delivery
    • Coordinated treatment and support for people with severe and complex mental illness
    • Suicide prevention
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention;
    • Physical health of people living with mental health issues
    • Stigma and discrimination reduction
    • Safety and quality in mental health care.

Minister Ley said people in all states are able to provide their feedback on the Plan through a series of consultation forums across the country.

“The Department of Health is partnering with Mental Health Australia to hold consultation meetings in all capital cities, with additional forums to be held in Townsville and Alice Springs between 3 November and 2 December this year,” Minister Ley said.

“These sessions are open to everyone, and all feedback on the Plan is welcome. 

“The consultation draft will be published on the Department of Health’s website in the coming days, and people can also have their say through an online survey or provide submissions on the draft Plan.”

Views expressed during the consultation process will inform the finalisation of the Plan, which will be considered by AHMAC and the COAG Health Ministers’ Council early next year.

For more information visit the Department of Health's website.

"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."

Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission

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