On 10 December 2020, the House of Representatives resolved to establish a Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention to inquire into:
- the findings of the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, the Report of the National Suicide Prevention Officer, the Victorian Royal Commission, the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy and other recent strategic reviews of the current mental health system in light of events such as the 2019 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, including the capacity of the mental health workforce to respond to such events; and
- other matters not addressed by these recent reviews, including:
- emerging evidence-based approaches to effective early detection, diagnosis, treatment and recovery across the general population and at-risk groups, including drawing on international experience and directions;
- effective system-wide strategies for encouraging emotional resilience building, improving mental health literacy and capacity across the community, reducing stigma, increasing consumer understanding of the mental health services, and improving community engagement with mental health services;
- building on the work of the Mental Health Workforce Taskforce and forthcoming National Medical Workforce Strategy, the roles, training and standards for all health and allied health professionals who contribute to mental health care, including peer workers, that are required to deliver quality care at different levels of severity and complexity, and across the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support;
- the funding arrangements for all mental health services, including through the MBS and PHNs, and whether they are structured in a way that supports safe, high quality and effective care in line with the qualifications of practitioners and needs of consumers across whole of population;
- the use, standards, safety and regulation of telehealth services and the role and regulation of domestic and international digital and online mental health service providers in delivering safe and high quality care in Australia; and
- any related matters.
Details of dates for submissions and hearings will be published when arrangements have been finalised.
The Committee is due to present an interim report by 15 April 2021 and a final report by 1 November 2021.