|Australian Labor Party Queensland [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party Queensland]
• Establish a Queensland Mental Health Commission from 1 July 2012.
• Government spending over $1 billion this financial year on mental health.
The Queensland Government is breaking up Queensland Health and establishing an entirely new health system for Queenslanders. Part of that new system is the creation, from July 1 2012, of the Queensland Mental Health Commission.
In 2011-12 alone, the Queensland Government is investing over $1 billion in public mental health services throughout Queensland. This is the biggest investment in Queensland’s history.
Building on the momentum which has been achieved over the last four years, the Commission will be responsible for:
• Acting as a strong advocate for mental health clients and their families;
• Improving the coordination, effectiveness and performance of mental health services;
• Ensuring resources are being deployed to where they are most needed;
• Developing a strong evidence base to support government investment; and
• Promoting greater transparency in the allocation of resources.
International evidence suggests that a dedicated, stand-alone Commission can improve the mental health system’s ability to focus on the individual needs of clients and their families and to provide more effective and coordinated services, ranging from acute care to community-based services.
As well as supporting further transformation of the mental health system, establishment of the Commission will position Queensland to better respond to emerging priorities, pressures and opportunities and to drive ongoing reform locally and nationally.
The Commission will engage continuously with consumers, families, service providers and other stakeholders, ensuring that consumers’ needs and human rights remain paramount at all times and that services remain accessible and well coordinated.
It will also play a key role in combating the social exclusion, stigma and discrimination which people living with mental illness experience.
Labor has a strong record on tackling mental health stigma, committing $8.5 million in the 2010 budget to lead the nation and establish the Change Our Minds anti-stigma campaign.
Only Labor is committed to changing Queensland’s health care system to deliver more services sooner and closer to home. The LNPs only documented health policy is to cut $400 million from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.