Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

3.6 Implementation of the 2011 Delivering National Mental Health Reform package

Page last updated: January 2014

In the May 2011-12 Budget, the Australian Government announced a reform package for mental health services worth $1.5 billion over five years, focused on five key areas:

  • Better care for people with severe and debilitating mental illness
  • Strengthening primary mental health care services
  • Prevention and early intervention for children and young people
  • Encouraging economic and social participation, including jobs, for people with mental illness
  • Improving quality, accountability and innovation in mental health services.
The package has a focus on reducing gaps in the provision of care and support and maximising social and economic participation by people with mental illness, and includes:
  • $571.3 million for better coordinated services for people with mental illness
  • $220.3 million to strengthen primary care and better target services to those most in need (this included additional funding for the ATAPS program, and funding to develop e-mental health services)
  • $491.7 million to expand services for children and young people.
The reform package also focuses on improving coordination between state/territory governments and the Australian Government in providing services. This was formalised in August 2011 when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to develop a new National Partnership Agreement on Mental Health.16 It also provided funding to establish the National Mental Health Commission, which, is charged with influencing reform within the suicide prevention sector as well as the mental health sector.17

16 The Hon Mark Butler MP, Mental Health Matters – Updates on reform from the Minister for Mental Health – October, DoHA, 2011, accessed 9 April 2013.
17 Department of Health and Ageing, National Mental Health Reform 2011-12: Highlights, DoHA, Canberra, 2011, accessed 9 April 2013.