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Australian mental health system needs action not another review

A mental health expert believes another review of Australia’s mental health system is a waste of time and resources, when what’s needed is action, according to a podcast published by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Professor Kathy Griffiths, director of the National Institute of Mental Health Research in Canberra, is the co-author of a Perspective in today’s issue of the MJA, entitled “Where to mental health reform in Australia: Is anyone listening to our independent auditors?”1

“We absolutely don’t need another review of the mental health system”, Professor Griffiths told the MJA.

“What we’ve got to do is learn from what we’ve already found out. We don’t need to keep asking the questions.”

Professor Griffiths was responding to the Federal Government’s latest request for the National Mental Health Commission to perform another review, following in the wake of a series of national and state inquiries dating back to the 1993 Burdekin Report.

“If you read [those reviews] the findings are very similar, which seems to suggest there’s a need to take action”, Professor Griffiths said.

“There have been conclusions and recommendations which simply haven’t been taken up.

In the podcast with the MJA, Professor Griffiths details the problems facing the mental health system, including lack of access, inappropriate accommodation, and human rights failings.

The full interview with Professor Griffiths:


1. MJA (202)4 172-174: Whereto mental health reform in Australia: is anyone listening to our independent auditors?, Kathleen M Griffiths, John Mendoza and Bradley Carron-Arthur, Medical Journal of Australia, doi: 10.5694/mja14.01034, published March 2015.

Source: Australian Medical Association