On 19 March 2018, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:
The accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia, with specific reference to:
- the nature and underlying causes of rural and remote Australians accessing mental health services at a much lower rate;
- the higher rate of suicide in rural and remote Australia;
- the nature of the mental health workforce;
- the challenges of delivering mental health services in the regions;
- attitudes towards mental health services;
- opportunities that technology presents for improved service delivery; and
- any other related matters.
Submissions were sought by 11 May 2018. The reporting date is 17 October 2018.
On 20 September 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 27 November 2018. On 27 November 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 4 December 2018.
While the committee has requested that submissions to the inquiry be received by 11 May 2018, it will continue to consider and accept submissions after this date. As a large number of submissions may be received for this inquiry, including many of a sensitive and personal nature, there may be a delay between your submission being received and it being considered and approved for publication by the committee. This process may take a number of weeks. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
If you are interested in contributing to the committee's inquiry, you may find it helpful to look at the guide for preparing a submission. It includes suggestions on what to include in a submission, a check list, and information about what happens to your submission once it has been received by the committee.
You can ask the committee to keep your submission confidential. Confidential submissions are only read by members of the committee and the secretariat and are not published online. Please include the word confidential clearly on the front of your submission to request this.
The committee emphasises that it is not in a position to provide advice on individual circumstances. The committee's focus is on the broad issues raised in the terms of reference of the inquiry with a focus on rural and remote Australia.
If you or anyone you know needs help you can contact one of the services below: