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Prioritising the mental wellbeing of Australia’s children is not only the right thing to do but is an essential investment in our future

Prioritising the mental wellbeing of Australia’s children is not only the right thing to do but is an essential investment in our future

The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) welcomes Minister Greg Hunt’s commitment to the broader recognition of Australian’s experience of mental ill health, and the need to develop a specific strategy for Australian children 0-12 years. 

The Commission is pleased to take on the role of developing this national strategy to guide and inform the Government’s investment and commitment to the health and wellbeing of our children.

National Mental Health Commission Chair, Ms Lucy Brogden, recognised that this announcement fills a missing piece in the mental health system and reinforced the importance of early intervention when it comes to enabling all Australians to live and lead a contributing life:

“A mental health system that supports the needs of our children is critical to helping them grow into adults who are more likely to have fulfilling relationships, cope with adverse circumstances and adapt to change. Sadly, poor early childhood experiences can lead to behavioural issues, a diminished sense of self-worth and a decreased ability to cope. Children and young people with good mental health and wellbeing are able to lead the contributing lives we all wish for them.”

Ms Brogden said the Commission is developing the vision for a future where the mental health system works for all Australians, across their lifespan. The Commission will continue to support Government and community to develop a coordinated approach to early intervention and prevention for mental health to ensure investments are sustainable and effective for our children and young people.

The Commission’s CEO Ms Christine Morgan says of the announcement:

“Investing in prevention and early intervention strategies in early childhood is key to giving our children the best opportunity for good mental health and wellbeing. We know that mental illnesses in adulthood frequently have their onset in childhood. Focusing on the mental wellbeing of our children is not only the right thing to do but is also an imperative.”

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.