What will the health reform agenda mean for mental health? This was the subject of a seminar recently convened by the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, the first in its Policy Innovations 2010 seminar series.
You can listen to the full recordings here, but the Centre’s Angela Beaton has also provided this summary – which raises some questions for Croakey readers.
“Dr Lesley Russell (Menzies Centre for Health Policy), Dr Andrew Pethebridge (St George Hospital), Mr David Crosbie (CEO, Mental Health Council of Australia) and Ms Barbara Hocking (Executive Director, Sane Australia) participated in the panel discussion that was moderated by Professor Gavin Andrews (UNSW at St Vincent’s Hospital).
An engaged discussion at the end of the seminar quickly concluded that there is consensus around a good evidence base about what needs to be done to treat and help those who suffer from mental illness and their carers.
In particular, we know what needs to be done to provide effective early intervention services to young people. But lack of political action means that the resources are not available, and most people with mental health problems go without the treatment they need.
These were some of the questions that were posed by participants:
– Why is mental health so neglected?
– Why has the Rudd Government left mental health off the health care reform agenda?
– Do we need to change tack and reframe mental health disorders as medical conditions of the brain?
– Should mental health be removed from the remit of the health portfolio and made a whole-of-government responsibility within the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet?
– What sort of grassroots action will make the politicians see mental illness in the same light as other chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease?
What do Croakey readers think?”