Four Actions Mental Health

Four actions to help transform Australia's mental health

We’ve developed four action areas to support organisations and communities build a future-fit mental health system and address the structural drivers of mental health.

Australia’s mental health leaders face a challenge

Our mental health systems are not designed to cope with the scale and demand that Covid-19, the recession, and the ongoing climate crisis will create. We can expect outcomes to fall, and the cost to government, businesses and families to rise.

But it doesn’t have to be this way

Key to effective and economically viable transformation will be harnessing the latent resources in communities, including people who have themselves experienced mental ill-health, distress and trauma.

Our experience consistently points to four priority actions:

  1. Do co-production authentically, so services better meet needs of those they serve.

  2. Build a mental health system fit for the future.

  3. Address the structural drivers of mental health.

  4. Support communities to innovate and create new mental health roles and responses for themselves.

The four priority actions
The four priority actions

If you’re excited by these opportunities and interested in partnering with us or learning more, we’d love to talk to you.

1. Do co-production authentically

There’s national recognition that our mental health system needs to be more person-centred, but mental health organisations vary greatly in their confidence and readiness to do this. 

Being truly person-centred means professionals sharing power with community members to partner on decisions about policy, commissioning, design and delivery. This takes changes in culture, capability and structures. It takes time and money. It takes practice. 

Co-production done well leads to services that better meet the needs of the people they serve, yet co-production done poorly can be costly, slow, ineffective and even damage relationships with the community.

We recommend that organisational leaders invest in building the conditions for co-production. 

For example by

  • Building trusting relationships with community members

  • Intentionally shifting internal cultures

  • Learning from others who have done it before

  • Running demonstration projects that build capability while showing what’s possible

  • Developing specialist teams and processes

We recommend system leaders invest in appropriately resourcing and incentivising changes in culture and capabilities. For example, through capability building funds, creating new institutions to build capability, funding flows that encourage co-production, and awards for excellence in person-centred decision making.

Our report brings to life the four action areas we’re proposing to support organisations and communities build a future-fit mental health system.

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Adelaide SA 5000

145 Redfern Street

Redfern NSW 2016

Our Community House
552 Victoria St
North Melbourne VIC 3051

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