CHF broadly supports the findings and recommendations of the findings and recommendations made in recent and previous years over many years. They confirm that consumers and carers experience a mental health system that fragmented, difficult to understand and navigate, and is not serving mental health care consumers or the community well. This consistency also makes it clear that the failings of the mental health system are widely understood and recognised. Because these failings are complex and systemic, they will be difficult and costly to address but, with increasing mental illness in the community and a cost that has more than tripled over the last three decades, it is becoming more and more critical to fix the system.
This submission relates the lived experience of mental health consumers to:
- the findings of the recent reports and reviews, including those of the Productivity Commission and the Victorian Royal Commission
- strategies for encouraging emotional resilience building, improving mental health literacy across the community, reducing stigma, increasing consumer understanding of mental health services, and improving community engagement with services
- the use, safety and regulation of telehealth services.
Added to the recommendations made in the reports being considered in this Inquiry, CHF made the following recommendations to better support consumers of mental health services.
- Establish an independent national mental health consumer and carer organisation.
- Integration of other systems, including primary health care and aged care to provide seamless, holistic care.
- Implement structures to monitor and independently report on progress and achievements.