System reform and inquiries
Mind is a key stakeholder in the mental health and wellbeing and psychosocial disability sector. We are recognised as an important and respected contributor to debates on system reform in Australia.
We contribute to public inquiries and seek to ensure that our voice, and that of the community we serve, is heard by Governments and decision-makers across Australia.
Our recent contributions to system reform include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:
Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health 2018 – 2020
The Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health was a major opportunity to re-evaluate Australia’s mental health system.
In 2019, we provided a submission responding to the issues paper. This focused on the reforms needed to enhance productivity and participation for people with mental health needs. We also gave evidence at a public hearing in November 2019.
In 2020, we provided a follow-up submission to the draft report. We combined our experience, practice wisdom and research with Neami National, SANE Australia and Wellways to present a joint submission. The submission focused on areas we felt could be strengthened in the final report so that it best addressed the needs of all Australians.
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System 2019 – 2021
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Commission) represented a once in a generation opportunity to reset Victoria’s mental health system.
Mind contributed to the Commission’s inquiry by making submissions to the Terms of Reference for the Commission and the Commission’s general inquiry. Mind staff also gave evidence at hearings, participated in roundtables and provided follow-up advice and information at the Commission’s request.
The Commission released its Final Report in early 2021. This set a roadmap for reform in Victoria. The challenge in realising Victoria’s new mental health and wellbeing system will be in the implementation. Mind continues to be involved in implementing the reforms, contributing to consultations and inquiries.
Select Committee Inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
The House of Representatives established a Select Committee Inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. The Committee has been tasked with examining the findings of key reports and strategic reviews of mental health and suicide, taking into account the 2019 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, along with the capacity of the workforce.
Mind contributed to the inquiry with a written response in March 2021, and was invited to give evidence to the public hearing in July 2021. Our submission provided recommendations for where the Committee should prioritise reform and provided suggestions for implementation. This included focusing on the need for a clear plan for the psychosocial sector, addressing workforce issues, and strengthening lived experience leadership.
Victorian Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: Update and Engagement Paper
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended repealing the current Mental Health Act and replacing it with a new one by mid-2022.
Mind made a joint submission with Neami National and Wellways in response to the Update and Engagement paper released by the Department of Health. Our submission highlighted the need for the new Act to consider the views of people with lived experience, and welcomed further information about the Act’s application to the community managed mental health sector.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care – National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations consultation paper
Mind made a joint submission with members of the Australian Psychosocial Alliance which highlighted the need for a mutual recognition scheme between different sets of standards, and strengthening terminology in the new standards to be more focused on the person and their recovery.
Housing and homelessness
Since 1977, the provision of housing and residential services has been at the core of Mind’s approach to community based mental health care. Mind and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) recently published Trajectories, one of the first national studies to examine the relationship between the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health. We know housing is critical for mental health recovery, with the findings of Trajectories informing our submissions to recent inquiries. Find out more about Trajectories.
Our recent contributions include submissions and reports to the following bodies and inquiries:
Victorian 10-Year Strategy for Social and Affordable Housing
Mind made a submission to the Victorian Government’s 10-year strategy for social and affordable housing in Victoria which specifically addressed the needs of people experiencing mental ill health.
Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria
Mind’s submission to the Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into Homelessness urged consideration of the interrelationship between homelessness and mental health, and provided advice on supported living. We were also invited to appear as a witness at a public hearing of the Committee.
Families and carers
Caring Fairly is a national campaigning coalition led by unpaid carers, and specialist organisations and peak bodies that support and advocate for their rights. Established in August 2018 and led by Mind, Caring Fairly is made up of over 25 organisations, spanning all states and territories of Australia. A full list of coalition members can be found at caringfairly.org.au.
Between April – May 2020 the Caring Fairly Coalition conducted a survey to capture unpaid carers’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the results demonstrate the considerable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers. You can read the COVID-19 Carer Survey Results full report here.
For more information visit Caring Fairly.
Caring Fairly made submissions to the following inquiries:
Productivity Commission into Mental Health
Caring Fairly made a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, authored by Mind with input from Carers Australia, which focused on mental health carers. This was followed by a further response to the Draft Report.