Introduction by Croakey: Is hope on the way for mental health system reform?
That was one of the bigger issues on the agenda at this week’s Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Congress, in the wake of major mental health system investigations by the Productivity Commission and Victoria’s Royal Commission.
The question may have got one answer on its closing day, as the Victorian Government announced what’s being hailed as an historic commitment of $3.8 billion over four years in response to the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations.
It outstrips the Federal Government’s record $2.3 billion mental health budget announced last week and prompted mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry to say he “never thought I would live to see the day mental illness would be the heart of a state budget”.
The RANZCP welcomed the funding as underscoring the central premise of the Royal Commission, “that every person has a right to appropriate and effective mental health care, whenever and wherever they need it”.
Some of the asks for mental health reform from psychiatrists and other mental health specialists are outlined in this big omnibus post from #RANZCP2021, that features tweets from a number of sessions and participants across the four days of the Congress.
As well as reflections on the big mental health inquiries and takeaways from Day 3 from Croakey journalist Jennifer Doggett, it includes tweets from sessions on alcohol and mental health, therapeutic inpatient services, intellectual disability and mental health, and some selfies, snaps and snapshots from around #RANZCP2021.
The Congress also marked the handover of the College presidency from Associate Professor John Allan to Associate Professor Vinay Lakra, who said his main priorities will include training and workforce issues and advancing psychiatry’s voice in the mental and physical health sectors.
He said that, as the first RANZCP President to have trained overseas, he also aims to “encourage and promote cultural diversity, equity and inclusion in access to mental health services”.
Croakey has more stories to come from journalist Dr Amy Coopes, reporting for the Croakey Conference News Service, including on workforce and valuing the lived experience of psychiatrists.
You can bookmark the#RANZCP2021 series here.
Day 3 takeaways from Croakey
Is hope on the way?
Plenary addresses from Monash University Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor David Copolov (see his full presentation here) and the University of Queensland’s Professor Harvey Whiteford broke down the findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and the Productivity Commission’s report on mental health.
Copolov also opened a discussion on inpatient care and hospitals “in the forthcoming era of ‘BigCommunity’”
Making the case for therapeutic inpatient beds
What role for psychiatrists in alcohol harms?
From the Presidential Symposium on alcohol and mental health harms, discussing priorities as psychiatrists. See also this Twitter thread of the session by Dr Skye Kinder and this thread by Croakey’s Jennifer Doggett of questions and comments from participants at the session.
Intellectual disability and mental health
Snapshots from other sessions
Some Twitter threads:
- Outcomes for children with ADHD at mental health clinics in Queensland
- Shared decision making in schizophrenia spectrum disorders
- Questions raised in a keynote address on the role of the immune system in psychiatric disorders and their therapy
- A human rights based framework for ‘digital pills to monitor anti-psychotic non-adherence – see tweet below.