National Mental Health Policy Unit
Head of unit
To obtain better mental health outcomes for the community, the BMRI engages directly with state and federal governments to influence national mental health policies. The National Mental Health Policy unit has published several commentaries in national newspapers focused on different aspects of national mental health reform, including the National Health and Hospitals’ Reform Commission report amongst others. The recurring theme of these articles has been the need for evidence-based approaches to services and better measures against which to assess the performance of Australia’s mental health system. One article analysed findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007 Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing while others focused on recent health reforms instituted by the Rudd Government.
The Unit published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia on 16 February 2009 [Rosenberg S, Hickie IB, Mendoza J. (2009) National mental health reform: less talk, more action. Med J Aust. Feb 16;190(4):193-5] and has also prepared advice and recommendations for the newly formed National Advisory Council on Mental Health, an expert committee established by the Minister Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing.
The Unit has held several meetings with Federal Government Ministers and officials, particularly from the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The Unit has provided advice to the office of Minister Roxon with regards to the Medicare items for mental health and the cost of services. A forthcoming article will focus on the need for proper evaluation of the Better Access Program.
- Rosenberg, S., Hickie, I.B., Mendoza, J. (2009) Erratum: “National mental health reform: Less talk, more action” Medical Journal of Australia, 190 (6), p. 344.
- Rosenberg, S., Hickie, I.B., Mendoza, J. (2009) National mental health reform: Less talk, more action. Medical Journal of Australia, 190 (4), pp. 193-195