Tandem eNews 24 November 2020

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Tandem response: Productivity Commission’s mental health report

Tandem CEO Marie Piu welcomed the release of the long-awaited final report on Mental Health released by the Australian Productivity Commission.

Marie stated that on behalf of Tandem Members, the family and friends in mental health, she “felt relieved that Australian Health Ministers have embraced the concept of the personal recovery of an individual within their family, carer, community and cultural context, rather than a narrow focus on clinical recovery”.

She went on to welcome Recommendation 18 – Support for Families and Carers – and said: “We particularly support the call for the Australian Government to amend the Medicare Benefits Schedule to provide rebates for family and carer consultations.”

“We also welcome the call for the Australian Government department of Social Services to evaluate outcomes achieved for mental health carers from its carer support program (Action 18.2)”.

“We strongly agree with Action 18.3 that the Australian Government should amend the eligibility criteria for the Carer Payment and Carer Allowance to reduce barriers to access for mental health carers.”

Marie stated that as the Victorian member of Mental Health Carers Australia, the national peak body representing the voice of family and friends (carers) in mental health, “Tandem particularly welcomes the recommendation from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health for lived experience representation at a national level. While the report acknowledged there are already various state and national organisations which advocate for mental health consumers and carers, it specifically noted the importance of these voices being acknowledged and heard as separate.”

Marie noted that the work of Mental Health Carers Australia is not currently funded by the Commonwealth Government but is funded by contributions made by member organisations around Australia such as Tandem, limiting the scope and ability to operate as a true peak.

Read the summary from a family and friends in mental health perspective in Victoria prepared by the Tandem team at our website. 

Read the Productivity Commission’s report on their website.

Read Tandem’s response