Advocating for infant and child mental health

Mental health reform is rapidly occurring at State and Commonwealth levels. Find out how the Centre has been active in advocating infant and child mental health and wellbeing. 

With a fast-moving mental health reform environment at both State and Commonwealth Government levels, it is a significant window of opportunity to ensuring infant and child mental health and wellbeing is central to the policy, program and system delivery changes that will stem from these reforms.  

The Centre has provided submissions to the draft National Mental Health Workforce Strategy and the Victorian Government’s Mental Health Workforce Forum Outcomes Report. Both submissions highlighted the importance of a concerted focus to address the issues impacting the infant and child mental health workforce. The Centre’s submissions highlighted key issues including the attraction and retention of a multidisciplinary child mental health workforce, improved support for a rural and regional workforce, funding models to support evidence-based multidisciplinary care and increased workforce capacity building. 

The Centre has also recently responded to Australia’s draft Primary Health Care 10-year plan which identifies the first 2,000 days as a priority. We have called for comprehensive responses to infant and child health care that span changes to funding models to allow more accessible, flexible and multidisciplinary care that meets the needs of children and families, support for parents to meet the needs of their children, and evidence-based strategies to enhance the capability of the primary care workforce to provide child mental health care.

If you would like more information on our work in child mental health advocacy, please contact Rachel Whiffen, Mental Health Advocacy Lead, The Danielle Besen Scholar in Mental Health Leadership.

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