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Mental Health Review

Productivity Commissioner Mental Health Review 

10/02/2022 12:00 PM

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia's submission emphasises the need for a clear national vision, community-based psychosocial services, and greater collaboration between the health and non-health sectors.

We argue that the 'missing middle’ needs to be addressed by better coordination of mental health with other health services; ensuring increased access to suitable housing; and lifting income support recipients out of poverty. Our submission highlights the disproportionate impact of mental health on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culturally diverse populations, demonstrating the need for culturally appropriate services, especially through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.   

The Society also outlines the mental health challenges faced by refugees and people seeking asylum. The Society supports a tailored approach to their mental health needs, informed by the Senate inquiry into the Medevac Bill.

We support a social determinants of health perspective to mental health based on a more comprehensive and coordinated client-centred approach. Existing funding models tend to promote dependency rather than a recovery-oriented approach.

The Society is concerned by the mental health eligibility criteria for the NDIS, as many individuals with mental health conditions find themselves ineligible. Similarly, many people do not quality for DSP and often end up on Newstart, pushing them further into poverty and distress as they are unable to meet mutual obligation requirements.

The Society also argues that the findings from the 2014 National Mental Health Commission Review, indicating the merits of community-based care over hospitalisation, need to be considered.   

Download a copy of our submission (PDF file)

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