Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

A new ten year plan for mental health

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

Today the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, and the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, invited Australians to help carve out the future of our mental health system with the release of the draft Ten-Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform for public consultation.

The Roadmap will provide governments, the community sector, workplaces and communities themselves with a measurable, long term national reform plan for mental health which will guide where we focus our attention and funding over the next 10 years and ensure our mental health system ranks as one of the world’s best.

“While we’ve taken great strides in how we view and treat mental illness, more needs to be done to provide a system that provides all the levels of care people living with mental illness need, available in the right place and at the right time,” Mr Butler said.

“We especially need to target our efforts at those who are hard-to-reach and vulnerable, and stop them from falling between the cracks and from being shunted from one service to another.

“We also need to work harder to break down the stigma, discrimination and misunderstanding that often surrounds mental illness.”

The Roadmap will identify the most important directions and actions that need to be undertaken to achieve this vision over the next ten years.

Ms Macklin said the Roadmap would complement the Government’s progress towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“We’re taking big steps to help improve the lives of people with mental illness. As a Labor Government we are committed to making sure that no Australian is left behind, and that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential,” Ms Macklin said.

The community will be able to provide their comments on the Roadmap through a new online tool available from today.

“COAG agreed to develop the Roadmap in 2011 and the Australian Government, States and Territories have been working hard alongside mental health experts and consumer and carer representatives to develop this draft,” Mr Butler said.

“We want to get this Roadmap right and we want the community to be involved in the process which is why we are making it available for public comment.

“The public comments will be used to help finalise the roadmap for COAG to consider in early 2012.”

The online survey tool is an open form of consultation to help gather the broadest range of feedback on the draft roadmap. It will be available from today until 1 February 2012 on the mental health page of the Department of Health and Ageing website –

The Gillard Labor Government has committed to a record investment of $2.2 billion over five years to build a better mental health system – a system that will work better for consumers, their families, carers and health practitioners alike.