Productivity Commission to investigate mental health

The Federal Government has announced a new Productivity Commission inquiry into the role and impacts of mental health on the nation’s economy, and ways in which national mental wellbeing can be improved.

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced the inquiry, whose remit will investigate the true impact of mental illness on the economy, and provide recommendations on how the Government can most effectively improve population mental health, and social and economic participation.

“Every year around four million Australians deal with some form of chronic or episodic mental health condition. Sadly, one in five Australians affected by mental illness do not seek help because of stigma,” Minister Hunt said.

“I have consulted with state and territory health and mental health ministers to seek their views on the scope and terms of reference of the inquiry and have welcomed their support.”

The Productivity Commission will undertake broad consultation, including holding hearings in regional Australia and inviting public submissions. It will then make recommendations on measures to improve population mental health to help people lead full and productive lives. The inquiry is due to begin later this month and the final report should be provided to the Government within 18 months.

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