Premier outlines new Queensland Mental Health Commision
Premier Anna Bligh has announced that the new Queensland Mental Health Commission will be the most powerful agency of its type in Australia following receipt of the First Report of the Queensland Mental Health Commission Advisory Committee.
“This report sets out a blueprint to create a stronger and more responsive mental health system in Queensland and that is what we intend to do,” the Premier said.
“It contains 14 key recommendations to ensure the new Queensland Mental Health Commission can serve as a strong champion for people with mental illness.
“The recommendations have been developed with input from people living with mental illness, and from service providers, clinicians, families and carers in all parts of Queensland.”
The Premier said the new Queensland Mental Health Commission will:
- Be established as a standalone Department of the Queensland Government and manage a budget of about $1 billion
- Perform all functions in relation to mental health, programs and services, including those provided in the community
- Alcohol and drug treatments policy and planning, formally a separate unit within Queensland Health, will become part of the responsibilities of the Commission
- Understand the people they seek to help with an advisory council for the commission which must include people who have suffered a mental illness and people who have experienced problem drug and alcohol use
- Help to ensure that those people experiencing mental illness are able to access services when they are a risk to themselves or others
- Promote social inclusion, tackle stigma and discrimination and raise public awareness and understanding
- Protect the rights of people in care
Premier Bligh said a new Labor Government would make establishing the new Commission a priority in the first 100 days of the next term.
“The new Commission will provide strong leadership and advocacy to ensure that people with mental illness can access the services and supports they need,” she said.
“It will focus on streamlining the mental health and drug and alcohol service systems and continue the implementation of our three whole of government plans namely the Queensland Plan for Mental Health, Supporting Recovery the Mental Health Community Services Plan and the Queensland Drug Action Plan.
“Around one in five Queenslanders will experience mental illness at any one time, and one in two will experience mental illness in their lifetime.
“That’s why our Government is investing $1 billion a year to build a more effective and resilient mental health system.
“The new Queensland Mental Health Commission is the next part of our plan to deliver better frontline services, while also tackling the stigma and discrimination which people living with mental illness can experience.