COVID mental health crisis needs fresh approach

Key Points:

  • COVID response must include large-scale mental health response
  • Not all mental distress requires medical intervention
  • Some people need practical supports in managing their distress
  • Community mental health services are ready to step up

The stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on the wellbeing of Queenslanders and must finally drive large-scale reform of the mental health system, according to the peak body representing community mental health organisations in the state.

The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, which represents more than 100 not-for-profit, publicly funded organisations, says those services have never been in greater demand.

“More and more people are experiencing distress and want to look after their wellbeing,” Queensland Alliance for Mental Health CEO Jennifer Black said. “Our services are perfectly placed to support people, because not all mental distress needs a medical response.”

The arguments and ideas for change are laid out in QAMH’s landmark report, Wellbeing First, which will be launched on Thursday in Brisbane.

“This is an urgent discussion that must be had to put wellbeing front and centre in our State Budgets, taking a whole-of-government approach to improve the mental wealth of Queensland,” Ms Black said.

Report Launch Details

Location:    State Library of Queensland – Auditorium 1
Time:         10am arrival for 10.30 start – midday, Thursday July 15 2021
Jennifer Black, CEO Queensland Alliance for Mental Health
Dr Sebastian Rosenberg, Centre for Mind and Health Research ANU
Ivan Frkovic, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner
Helen Glover, Mental Health Innovator, Enlightened Consultants
Debbie Bailey, CEO Momentum Mental Health (service provider)

Media Contact: Emma Griffiths, QAMH Director-Advocacy and Communications
Phone: 07 3394 8480; m 0439 971 080
Jennifer Black will be available for interviews.