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CAMPAIGN: Pass the Every Mind Matters Act

Australians for Mental Health (AfMH) has called for the creation of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission in a pre-budget submission to the Federal Government.

The newly formed role would be essential in promoting the government’s National Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and would have the power to initiate investigations and refer matters for prosecution to hold governments accountable. 

“Australian’s mental health is in crisis,” Australians for Mental Health Executive Director, Chris Gambian, said. “The Federal government must create a crisis response that recognises and addresses the crisis we are in.” 

“A Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission would have the ability to hold government to account for its actions, and to ensure that avoidable tragedies such as Robodebt can never happen again.” 

The call comes after the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 8.6 million Australians (aged 16-85 years) have experienced a “mental disorder”, and that that 38.8 percent of people aged 16–24 years reported a 12-month mental disorder, an increase of nearly 50 percent from figures gathered in 2007. 

Alongside the creation of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioner AfMH has called for a number of other significant structural reforms to the way governments approach mental health including; the creation of national targets for mental health and wellbeing and that government decisions are assessed for their impact on mental health. 

“We all know fundamental reform is urgently needed in the way Australia manages its mental health and wellbeing,” Gambian said. “But after 53 inquiries in the last 10 years the figures are still getting worse.”  

“Nothing less than a complete overhaul of the way we think and act on mental health and wellbeing is needed.” 

Read Australians for Mental Health’s full pre-budget submission here. 

Who's joining
Beryl Wilson
Georgie Corrie
Stephen Lake
Selina Tosh
Selina Tosh
Selina Tosh
Estelle Ali
Catherine Taylor