15 May 2020
SANE welcomes the release of the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan today, and supports the coordinated set of holistic principles and actions across Australian governments, including recognition of the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on people affected by complex mental health issues.
SANE CEO Jack Heath said jurisdictions should be applauded for working together and was pleased to see that many of the issues articulated in the Plan align with SANE’s own position statement on the impact of COVID-19.
“We support the principles of the plan and welcome the focus on addressing the broader context and holistic needs of people who are most vulnerable across Australia and the acknowledgement of people with pre-existing mental health conditions,” said Heath.
“This group of people needs increased support for their mental health which also incorporates their economic and social circumstances. This is critical in delivering a truly holistic system of care.”
SANE also welcomes the funding commitment to capture reliable and real-time data to determine the allocation of services, support and to inform future service design and delivery.
SANE calls for a commitment by the National Cabinet for appropriate levels of investments that are required to improve services, ensuring people with ongoing complex and severe mental health conditions get the holistic support they need, while also reducing the risk of suicide for the wider community.
“Following this initial response phase, we call on all governments to provide substantial investments for the longer term as we move into the recovery phase. We need to strike the right investment balance between addressing those mild conditions and immediate concerns which are likely to dissipate over time, with the needs of people dealing with the more complex and severe conditions,” Heath said.
SANE was also pleased to see recognition of the need to enhance efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination in the recovery phase.
“Previous international experience indicates that during economic downturns people with complex mental health issues experience increased stigma and discrimination. It is critical that prompt action is taken to ensure people can access the support they need now and have the best possible chance to re-engaging in employment opportunities, have access to housing and other social and community services,” Heath said.
SANE will continue to advocate for the needs of those affected by complex mental health issues and look forward to understanding the roadmap to implementation to ensure better support in the short, medium and longer term.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Line 1800 659 467
- Mensline 1300 789 978
- KidsHelpline 1800 551 800
To request an interview with SANE CEO, Jack Heath please contact:
Bianca Lapins - Senior PR and Media Advisor
Phone: 0438 092 371
SANE is a national mental health charity dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues. We work to support the more than four million Australians affected by complex mental health issues including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, complex trauma and severe depression and anxiety.