Mental Health Commissioner for NSW

NSW will soon have a Mental Health Commission to advise Government on services, programs and health care, and work on prevention, early intervention and education.

A number of states and countries have mental health commissions - our model will be based on New Zealand's, where wins include greater community-focused care, and higher per capita spending on mental health services.

Success will rely on a Government unafraid of criticism and the Commissioner's aptitude. I hope requirements for the commissioner or a deputy to have had a mental illness will change the focus of care to the consumer's needs, not the clinician's.

Many inner city people who suffer from mental illnesses wind up living on the street due to limited support and services. The new Caritas facility which I lobbied for provides state-of-the-art care with integrated mental health, drug and alcohol, and community health services. Similar facilities are needed elsewhere to ensure Caritas can serve inner city residents.

In Parliament I supported the Mental Health Commission Bill and congratulated the Minister. I look forward to mental health reform to help people participate in society, work and community activities.

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