Media release Nat Review of Mental Health

For immediate release – Draft 2
16 April, 2015
The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH), Queensland’s peak body for the mental health sector, has
welcomed the recommendations of a review of mental health services in Australia which includes redirecting
funding from acute services usually provided in hospitals, to community-based prevention and early intervention.
The Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, was published in November 2014 but
not released. It was leaked to the media this week.
The report recommends a person-centred, rather than a system-based approach to mental health care, and
proposes $1billion in hospital funding be redirected to community-based mental health services, extending the
scope of the Primary Health Network and promoting options to help families and communities better support
QAMH Acting Chief Executive Officer Amara Bains said the report outcomes would not surprise those working in the
mental health sector, and reaffirm the approach being taken in many areas of mental health care.
“QAMH has been working throughout the last two years to promote and encourage support for communitymanaged mental health services,” Ms Bains said.
“The National Mental Health Commission’s review is further evidence of the need to support the community mental
health sector and its integration into the wider health system.”
The QAMH has been investigating innovative ways to partner with government and others to support people who
fall outside the categories currently funded by State government.
“Importantly, the review recommends integrated support to address mental health issues, which reinforces the need
to engage with social services, education, employment, housing and justice for a whole-of-government approach to
mental health,” Ms Bains said.
“Collaborative community primary health care can help address mental health issues before they become major
problems and ultimately lead to a reduction in spiralling hospital costs.
“Community primary health care networks include a lot more than just GPs, but also a wide range of professionals
able to provide support and early interventions. Their programs can provide a genuine alternative to medication or
hospitalisation for patients with low-care needs.”
With health budgets at both federal and state levels under increasing strain, Ms Bains believes the recommendations
of the Report simply make sense.
“The health sector will continue to struggle until someone stands up and champions genuine and significant
With the federal government mostly responsible for primary health providers and the state government accountable
for state hospitals, QAMH believes there is a stronger need to work together.
For further information please contact:
Lee McLean PPR 3309 4702 or 0411 868 348