NSW Minister for Mental Health Kevin Hump has announced that the NSW Mental Health Commission, to be established by July this year, will work with the National Mental Health Commission to drive mental health reform in the State .


Speaking at the first meeting of the National Mental Health Commission in Sydney, Mr Humphries said, once established, the NSW Mental Health Commission will collaborate with the National Commission to implement a more accountable and efficient mental health system in NSW.


“The NSW Government has significantly advanced its key election commitment to establish a Mental Health Commission, with the Mental Health Commission Bill 2011 being introduced into Parliament in November last year,” Mr Humphries said.


“I expect the work of the NSW Commission will complement and enhance the work of the National Commission, with the Commissions working collaboratively together to ensure their efforts to improve mental health outcomes are coordinated.


“In particular, there is now an opportunity for both Commissions to develop a single plan for the future of mental health delivery in NSW that the State and Federal Governments can invest in.


"The establishment of the NSW Mental Health Commission will be one of the most important mental health reforms in the State’s history.


“We are on track to establish a best practice Mental Health Commission by July 2012 that reflects the views of Australian and international experts, and is responsive and focused on delivering better outcomes for the people of NSW.”


Mr Humphries congratulated Federal Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, and National Mental Health Commission Chair, Allan Fels, for their work in establishing the independent National Commission.


“It is extremely encouraging to see that at both a State and a Federal level, mental health is finally coming close to getting the attention it deserves,” Mr Humphries said.


“This independent body will play a crucial role in giving mental health national prominence while monitoring and reporting on how the mental health system is performing and what can be done to improve outcomes for people affected by mental illness.”