Opening Remarks - Media Conference with CEO of Mental Health Council of Australia Frank Quinlan on World Mental Health Day

Transcript of the opening remarks by the Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP, at the media conference with CEO of Mental Health Council of Australia Frank Quinlan on World Mental Health Day.

Page last updated: 10 October 2013

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10 October 2013

It's a pleasure to be here today with Frank Quinlan, as World Mental Health Day is a day that all Australians need to think a bit harder about this year.

Both in the workplace and at home, people need support and need to know that they have the reassurance of those around them. Employers need to be more conscious of the needs of their employees who may present with mental health issues.

From the Federal Government's perspective, we want to provide support to, in particular, those who are delivering front-line services to people who are suffering from a mental health issue. We want to make sure that we have programs in place around housing, around all of those issues of concern and other ways in which state and Federal Governments can assist.

Today really is a reminder to all Australians that we need to do more to break down the stigma to make sure that we make it easier for people to talk openly about issues that they may have, regardless of what their health condition might be. And from the Australian Government perspective, we were very pleased to announce that we will task the Mental Health Commission with a review of services within the mental health space to make sure that we can deliver those services more efficiently.

During the election campaign we also promised an expansion of the headspace sites out to 100. We also talked about an e-Health platform, $5 million going toward that platform so that we could make it easier for people to access information so that they could be better informed about health services. And, very importantly, we also announced $200 million of funding towards research as there will increasingly be more Australians who are diagnosed with mental illness who need better care along with their carers and for their family members as well.

So this is a Government that is absolutely committed to supporting people with mental illness. We want to make sure that on this day we do remind people that support services are there. Please access them. Please get online, talk to your friends and family, those at your workplace. This is a stigma that will be broken down in years to come. It will take time, but the Government is absolutely determined to make sure that we can break down the stigma around mental health.

ENDS

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