Interim mental health report “on the right track”, but more focus needed on community-based psychosocial supports
Victorian not-for-profit health provider, cohealth, says that today’s Interim Report from the Mental Health Royal Commission shows that the Committee is “on the right track for delivering real reform to a fundamentally broken system”.
“The Commission has uncovered the realities for people experiencing mental health in Victoria, and the preliminary recommendations recognise the urgency of the situation,” said Chief Executive, Nicole Bartholomeusz
“The Commission has also identified the problem of the ‘missing middle’; those whose mental health condition is too complex to be treated solely through primary care, but not severe enough for admission to specialist mental health services.”
Ms Bartholomeusz said that we also know more needs to be done integrate mental health care with multidisciplinary physical health care and social support services, a model such as that delivered within community health centres. She hopes this will also be evidenced in the final report.
“Mental health doesn’t exist in isolation. cohealth supports thousands of people every year whose mental health is inextricably linked with their lack of housing, unmanaged chronic illnesses, low income, disability and social isolation,” said Ms Bartholomeusz.
On the recommendation for a new mental health tax, Ms Bartholomeusz said, “This is absolutely the kind of direction that we need. Bolstering the system via a new revenue stream will reduce the burden on emergency departments, police, the courts and social support services, and save taxpayers money in the long-run.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a world-class system. The Commission is well on the way to achieving that,” said Ms Bartholomeusz.
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cohealth is a Victorian not-for-profit community health organisation that strives to improve health and wellbeing for all. It provides universal access to services as well as targeted programs and assertive models to address the health disparities experienced by disadvantaged groups. cohealth offers a broad range of high quality, integrated health and support services, including medical oral, pharmacy, mental health and drug and alcohol services.