The Australian Government Productivity Commission has released a Mental Health Issues Paper on the Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health.
The issues paper outlines a range of issues on which the Commission seeks information and feedback.
Terms of reference
I, Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 3 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998, hereby request that the Productivity Commission (the Commission) undertake an inquiry into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth.
In 2014-15, four million Australians reported having experienced a common mental disorder.
Mental health is a key driver of economic participation and productivity in Australia, and hence has the potential to impact incomes and living standards and social engagement and connectedness. Improved population mental health could also help to reduce costs to the economy over the long term.
Australian governments devote significant resources to promoting the best possible mental health and wellbeing outcomes. This includes the delivery of acute, recovery and rehabilitation health services, trauma informed care, preventative and early intervention programs, funding non-government organisations and privately delivered services, and providing income support, education, employment, housing and justice. It is important that policy settings are sustainable, efficient and effective in achieving their goals.
Employers, not-for-profit organisations and carers also play key roles in the mental health of Australians. Many businesses are developing initiatives to support and maintain positive mental health outcomes for their employees as well as helping employees with mental illhealth continue to participate in, or return to, work.
Scope of the inquiry
The Commission should consider the role of mental health in supporting economic participation, enhancing productivity and economic growth. It should make recommendations, as necessary, to improve population mental health, so as to realise economic and social participation and productivity benefits over the long term.
Without limiting related matters on which the Commission may report, the Commission should:
The Commission should have regard to recent and current reviews, including the 2014 Review of National Mental Health Programmes and Services undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission and the Commission’s reviews into disability services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Productivity Commission should undertake broad consultation, including with carers and consumers, and by holding hearings in regional Australia, inviting public submissions and releasing a draft report to the public.
The final report should be provided to the Government within 18 months.
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP
Initial submissions close: Friday 5th April 2019.
For more information visit the Productivity Commission website.