How Did We Score?
Engaging young people in the development of a National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
In 2012, the Australian Government established a new independent body, the National Mental Health Commission (the Commission). The goal of the Commission is to prioritise the interests of people living with mental health difficulties by providing independent advice on where Australia is doing well and not so well in its care and support of this population. It also aims to promote the importance of mental health at a national level and provide independent advice to the Australian Government. The information collected by the Commission will help guide future policy and funding decisions and improve the delivery of services for all Australians. Each year the Commission will produce a National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Report Card).
The Commission has been given the following mandate to:
• Adopt a new approach to reporting on the systems and services providing support to people experiencing mental health issues; and
• Develop a Report Card. The Report Card will look beyond the health sector to all the elements that interact with a person who is experiencing mental health issues, their families, and carers.
The Report Card will:
• Report on how systems and services are performing.
• Strengthen accountability and transparency within the sector.
In June 2012, a youth-led organisation Batyr and the Young and Well CRC were engaged by the Commission to involve young Australians to inform the development of the Report Card. This project involved engaging with young people aged 12 to 25 and other interested participants through an online survey, as well as conducting focus groups with young people from specific target groups to examine young people’s experiences in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. The project also gathered young people’s ideas and suggestions on how the Report Card being developed by the Commission can be engaging and relevant to young people.
You can read the findings in the detailed report below: