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New group appointed to help shape mental health reforms

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Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Minister for Social Inclusion

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

22 June 2012


Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler today announced the establishment of a Consumer Reference Group to set up the new National Mental Health Consumer Organisation.

Mr Butler said the Consumer Reference Group would help guide the establishment of the new organisation announced as part of the National Mental Health Reform package.

“I’ve appointed ten people to the Consumer Reference Group who have the necessary expertise and experience to make a profound impact on the responsiveness and accountability of the mental health system.

“Members were chosen by a selection panel made up of consumers, non-government and government representatives and bring a diverse set of skills, knowledge, sector diversity and networks,” Mr Butler said.

The Australian Government has invested $4 million over five years to establish and operate the new National Mental Health Consumer Organisation as part of its landmark $2.2 billion national mental health reform package.

The Consumer Reference Group will be chaired by Mr Ian Watts who has an extensive health care background and substantial experience in leadership and organisational roles.

Mr Watts said diverse and inclusive consultation was central to Australia’s mental health reform.

“It’s critical to listen to and support people who cannot always speak out independently to improve mental health systems, particularly the safety and quality of these services, and community awareness of the issues.”

The group will lay the foundations of the new Organisation through a range of engagement activities which may include consultations, forums and membership activities.

Once established, the new Organisation will be dedicated to representing the diverse views of mental health consumers to contribute to a more responsive and accountable mental health system.

The members the Consumer Reference Group are:

Mr Ian Watts (Chair) Dr Michelle Banfield Mr Michael Burge Ms Fay Jackson Mr Darren Jiggins Mr Keith Mahar Mr Lei Ning Ms Lorraine Powell Ms Emily Todorov Ms Lily Wu

MEDIA CONTACT: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617