Mental Health Inquiry must lead to meaningful reform

MEDIA RELEASE – Alternatives to hospital emergency departments, mental health support for people early in their episode of distress and a truly reformed system which is designed with people with lived experience must be at the core of any new plan for mental health care in Queensland.

As the state government draws up the terms of reference for a parliamentary inquiry into mental health, the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) is calling for the inquiry to focus on systemic changes that will meet the needs of people in mental distress.

QAMH CEO Jennifer Black said the parliamentary inquiry must have broad terms of reference and must lead to significant reform to the way care is delivered.

“Whilst I am pleased that the spotlight will be on mental health in the form of an inquiry it must be noted that this is far from the first review into mental health that we’ve seen,” Ms Black said.

“Other inquiries have suggested fundamental reform but so far limited change has been achieved. Given we already know what many of the problems are with the mental health system, it would be appropriate for this review to concentrate on action.

“And while the pandemic has led to increased distress in the community, people may not require just more of the same medicalised responses.

“The change required in the system might be early community responses which focus on maintaining wellbeing, helping people to feel connected, to flourish and to prevent their distress from becoming more acute.”

 ACTIONS REQUIRED:

  • A whole-of-government approach to putting mental Wellbeing First
  • More support for the Community Mental Health sector
  • Easier pathways to access community mental health services, removing the requirement for medical referrals
  • Community-led centres, easily accessed by people experiencing mental distress and ill-health
  • Placing the voice of Lived Experience (people who have accessed mental health services) at the core of any changes

QAMH is the peak body for community-managed mental health organisations, representing more than 100 not-for-profit services that work with people experiencing mental health challenges.

. . . . .  

Media contact: Emma Griffiths, QAMH Director – Advocacy and Communications

T: 07 3394 8480

M: 0439 971 080

E:

Leave a Reply