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18/11/2019
News update

NDS in WA Sector Support Service Extended

WA Sector Support Service has been extended until 30 September 2020.

Productivity Commission releases draft report on Inquiry on Mental Health

A pair of hands holding a thick bunch of paper

6/11/2019

Following an initial period of consultation, the Productivity Commission has released a draft report on its inquiry into mental health in Australia. The report examines the ability of the health system and other associated service infrastructure to respond to the needs of people experiencing mental ill-health, focusing in particular on prevention, early detection and access to suitable treatment. The report estimates the cost to the Australian economy of mental ill-health and suicide is between $43 to $51 billion per year. In addition, there is approximately $130 billion per year incurred due to costs associated with diminished health and reduced life expectancy for those with mental health conditions.The key drivers of poor outcomes in Australia’s mental health system include:• An under-investment in prevention and early intervention• A clinical services focus that overlooks other determinants of and contributors to mental health• Difficulties in finding and accessing suitable support, especially in non-metropolitan regions• Poor levels of support that do not respond to changes in peoples’ conditions and circumstances and which may be unconnected with the clinical services received• Stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental illness and those who support them• Unclear roles, responsibilities and funding arrangements across various tiers of government leads to duplication and gaps in service provision, with limited accountability for mental health outcomesThe report identifies recommendations for substantial changes to Australia’s mental health system through implementation the following priority reforms:• Prevention and early intervention for mental illness and suicide attempts• Closing critical gaps in healthcare services• Investment in services beyond health• Assistance for people with mental illness to get into work and enable early treatment of work-related mental illness• Fundamental reform of care coordination, governance and funding arrangementsThe Commission is seeking further information and feedback following the release of the draft report. A series of national hearings will be held from mid-November 2019 through to early 2020. Submissions are due by Thursday 23 January 2020. NDS will be lodging a submission and members wishing to contribute can send their feedback to or by Friday 13 December 2019.

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