Getting politicians to fix mental health is goal of advocacy day

Representatives from more than 50 mental health organisations will meet with politicians in Canberra on Thursday, with a clear goal… to fix mental health, Mental Health Australia has said.

The organisation said in a statement the 2017 Mental Health Australia Parliamentary Advocacy Day and Members Policy Forum will see some 80 delegates meet with key Ministers as well as hold individual delegate meetings with more than 40 Senators and MPs in the biggest mental health advocacy day of its kind.

Following last week’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Health Minister and key representatives from the sector, Mental Health Australia chief executive Frank Quinlan says the advocacy day is another important opportunity for mental health reform.

“We have some good momentum at the moment, and politicians from all sides are listening and starting to understand the state of mental health in Australia, but we need to do more,” Mr Quinlan said.

“The advocacy day is another opportunity to ensure we have the right set of reforms, backed by real investment in frontline, community based services.”

United and representing members of the mental health sector, delegates will call on the government to take more action to realise the vision of the National Mental Health Commission in its recent Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.

The statement said priority actions include:

 • Adopting targets and indicators to bring accountability today, and drive the right investments for the future.

• Supporting people in the community by funding psychosocial support programs based on the success of programs like Partners in Recovery and Personal Helpers and Mentors, Mental Health Nurses, Mental Health Carer Respite and other programs.

•  Developing and reporting annually on a 10 year plan for expanding investment in mental health.

The 2017 Mental Health Australia Parliamentary Advocacy Day and Members Policy Forum will be held at Parliament House in Canberra.

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