The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Mental Health was released in November 2020 (download the report HERE.) The Department of Health is undertaking a survey-based consultation with key stakeholders to gather views on the report’s recommendations.
DANA is seeking to provide a response, with a particular focus on the report’s content as it relates to the delivery of alcohol and other drug services to people experiencing mental health issues. This is a matter of great importance to many of us who work in this sector.
If you would care to comment on the report in terms of the alcohol and other drugs sector please send your comments to [email protected] by 24.1.2021.
The recommendations start on page 61 of the report. Recommendation 14 is of relevance to our sector. These are some extracts from that recommendation and actions list.
“Substance use comorbidity is common for individuals with some types of mental illness, and a large proportion of people who present for substance use treatment display symptoms of mental illness. However, people with substance use comorbidities often do not receive adequate care for both conditions. Governments should ensure that mental health and drug and alcohol services address both mental health and substance use needs, by directly providing services, or referring the person to other services where appropriate.”
“Many people with mental illness and comorbid physical health problems or substance use disorders do not receive integrated care, leading to poor outcomes, including premature death. Action is needed to improve the care provided to people with comorbidities.”
One of the reforms recommended for consideration under this recommendation is:
“Mental health and alcohol and other drug services should jointly develop and implement operational guidelines covering screening, referral pathways, and training, guidelines and other education resources for mental health and alcohol and other drugs workers. (Action 14.2)”
‘Integrating mental health and substance use planning, commissioning and service provision’, which states:
“Many people with mental illness also have a substance use disorder. Services to deal with both these conditions should be seamless from the consumers’ perspective.
In considering your responses, members may find it useful to refer to an excellent paper recently developed by 360edge for the National Mental Health Commission, Exploring the place of alcohol and other drug services in the mental health system.
DANA’s responses will be sent to the Australian Alcohol and other Drugs Council (AADC) for inclusion in their submission on behalf of the AOD sector.
If you require additional information please sned an email to [email protected]