As we continue to navigate 2023, many people are being impacted by economic pressures. These are heightened by ongoing physical, social and emotional health challenges from the pandemic and natural disasters.
Despite this, many across the mental health and suicide prevention systems remain hopeful and work towards delivering current investment and reforms. The Commission is committed to ensuring a person-centred system that is Integrated, Available (affordable and accessible), Localised, and Accountable to each person and their unique needs.
As part of this commitment we are currently analysing the significant data and insights collected through the Connections2022 program from 3,615 individuals and organisations.
We have commenced the monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the delivery of The National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement (NPA). We will also continue to monitor, evaluate and report on the significant parts of the system that fall outside of the NPA such as the review of the NDIS, and, from the Commission’s perspective, the need to re-consider how Australia responds to psychosocial disability and support.
The year has opened with some important progress towards mental health reform with the historic announcement by Minister Butler and Assistant Minister McBride of $7.5 million to establish and operate two new independent national mental health lived experience peak bodies. These new peaks will be critical for connecting lived and living experience leadership, insights and knowledge to inform mental health reform and system improvements – a central factor in achieving quality, recovery-focused systems and services.
The National Workplace Initiative (NWI) has reached a significant milestone with the release of the Mentally Healthy Workplaces digital platform in its beta state. During this phase, the NWI will be fine-tuning the platform's content, navigation, functionality, and layout based on feedback from users. I invite you to visit the platform and provide feedback. The NWI team has also released the Small Business Guides to Mentally Healthy Workplaces. The Guides provide information on key topics, examples, tips and links to further support and guidance.
Public consultation on the Draft Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy recently closed and there was a tremendous response. Overall, we received more than 500 responses and submissions, and we are deeply appreciative for these considered and thoughtful responses from individuals and organisations.
We warmly welcomed WorldPride to Sydney earlier this year, acknowledging that stigma and discrimination are real barriers to help seeking for people in the LGBTIQA+ community. We value respectful, inclusive, and safe mental health services, informed by LGBTIQA+ people with lived experience.
CEO, National Mental Health Commission