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Mental Health Expert Advisory Group established



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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

23 December 2010

Mental Health Expert Advisory Group Established

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today announced that the Prime Minister has asked him to establish and chair a new Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health that will provide the Federal Government with advice on the important reforms needed in the mental health sector.

Mr Butler said that the creation of the new, time limited, specialist group would allow for targeted advice to be provided directly to the Australian Government on how to achieve the most coordinated, cost-effective and lasting reforms for our investment in mental health care.

“In July this year Prime Minister identified mental health as a significant priority for the second term of the Labor Government and I have been working closely with the Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Ageing on genuine reform of mental health.”

“The Government is very aware of the need for significant reform of the way mental health services are provided in Australia and it is important that this process is influenced and informed by experts, service providers and people in the community affected by mental illness.

“We are confident that the establishment of the new Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health will provide that key input,” Mr Butler said.

Following his appointment as Australia’s first national mental heath minister, Mr Butler undertook a series of forums across the country with mental health consumers and carers.

“Meeting with people affected by mental ill health and their carers and hearing their thoughts and ideas about issues closest to them is a critical part of developing better mental health services for all Australians.”

“The consumers and carers I have talked to during the fourteen mental health forums around Australia have provided important feedback and it has been a very useful experience for me.”

Mr Butler said the new specialist group will provide key advice in addition to other sources of specialist information available.

“The Gillard Labor Government is determined to deliver significant reforms, and as Chair of Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health I look forward to working closely with the members to develop a strong, sustainable mental health system now and into the future.”

For more information call Mr Butler’s office on (02) 6277 7280

MEMBERSHIP OF THE MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT WORKING GROUP

 Professor Patrick McGorry AO, Executive Director, Orygen Youth Health and Australian of the Year.

 Monsignor David Cappo AO, Vice-Chair, Australian Social Inclusion Board.

 Professor Ian Hickie AM, Executive Director, Brain and Mind Research Institute.

 Dr Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

 Dr Pat Dudgeon, Clinical Psychologist, School of Indigenous Studies, The University of Western Australia.

 Ms Janet Meagher AM, Divisional Manager (Inclusion), Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia.

 Dr Christine McAuliffe, General Practitioner.

 Ms Sally Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, National Employment Services Association.

 Professor Frank Oberklaid OAM, Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children's Hospital.

 Mr Toby Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Mission Australia.

 Mr Anthony Fowke AM, President of Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) Australia.

 Dr Christine Bennett, Chief Medical Officer, Bupa Australia.