Australia's mental health system - can we achieve generational change?

Australia's mental health system requires urgent reform or we risk failing to address key challenges of increasing workforce participation and productivity, according to a new white paper, Australia's mental health system - can we achieve generational change?

The paper, developed following a 2-day workshop of more than 40 of Australia's leading thinkers in mental health, health and social services, and hosted by beyondblue and Medibank, is intended to reinvigorate discussions for mental health reform and presents some ideas for a better mental health system.

The paper lays out 5 philosophies to drive reform and force change to current mental health system practices, saying a new mental health system should be built around:

1.individuals, their families and carers exercising choice and control
2.fully-integrated funding and service delivery for health, wellbeing, housing, employment, education and other human services across people's life stages
3.investment based on complexity of needs, evidence and measured outcomes
4.barriers to social and economic participation identified and dismantled
5.equitable investment, tailored to individual and population needs to strengthen natural and informal supports, and build "mental capital" (the population's ability to cope with life's swings and roundabouts).

Press release

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