Fiona Martin MP calls for ‘critically significant’ reform of mental health system

·

Liberal MP and psychologist Fiona Martin is calling for “critically significant structural reform” to Australia’s mental health system.

“When I say that, I mean every role within the mental health workforce needs to be reviewed and looked at to maximise the various services that are available to ensure that people who really need mental health services and expect to be able to get mental health services when they need it, have access to that,” Dr. Martin tells the Greek Herald.

The Member for Reid recently chaired a parliamentary mental health and suicide committee. 

She tabled their final report, which makes 44 recommendations to improve the system, in Parliament last week. 

“One of the most important things is that people can access mental health services when they need them. That is at the core of this report in its 44 recommendations,” she said.

“What we heard from people was that accessibility was the biggest concern across the nation; that people felt that they couldn’t access services that were needed.”

“I think that our mental health system was already fragmented and was already under stress before the pandemic but the pandemic really just put the next level of pressure on it and really had tipped it over.”

Fiona Martin MP (Photo: Supplied)

The pandemic has shown digital technology can be a legitimate tool to fix the system, allowing more people to access treatment online.

The final report highlights the need for well-designed digital systems to fill the gap.

“It’s not in place of treatment by a mental health professional, but it certainly helps in the early intervention and prevention of services,” she said.

Martin also recognises the need for culturally competent and trauma-informed workforces for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

“I know my yiayia and pappou came from Kastellorizo in Greece and when they came, my grandmother was traumatised by what she experienced (war) on the island during her time just before,” Martin said.

“So many people come to this country fleeing war, fleeing persecution, fleeing a whole lot of horrible, adverse situations in their countries.”

“It is important that we do provide culturally competent mental health services but also trauma-informed services as well.”

This week is the Australian Psychological Society’s 19th Psychology Week, with the theme ‘Working Minds’ focusing on promoting workplace wellbeing. 

“People want to have autonomy and choice in the workplace,” Dr. Martin said.

“A healthy, high sense of agency is really what underlines happiness.”

Martin says poor mental health in the workplace is driving the Great Resignation — a ‘worker revolt’ that has seen a spike in people rejecting their 9 to 5 jobs.

Martin says there are signs Australia could go the same way.

She says the pandemic has “affected people in the sense that they’ve reassessed what they want out of life” and whether the stress they experience at work “is really worth it”.

“People really had an opportunity to stop and also reflect on what they want in their life [and] how they want to live,” she says.

If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline on 13 11 14Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Fresco of Helen of Troy uncovered at Pompeii

Nearly 2,000 years since it was buried by volcanic rubble, the lost city of Pompeii is yielding even more impressive discoveries. According to msn.com, archeologists...

New casual Greek restaurant brings meze and cocktails to Adelaide’s CBD

Andrew Papadakis, the visionary who founded and successfully sold Meze Mazi, returns to the vibrant Adelaide restaurant scene with his newest venture, Dino’s. According to...

Two Greek women included in ’30 Under 30′ Forbes list

In this year's European Forbes "30 Under 30" list, two exceptional Greek women have managed to stand out for their successful paths in two...

2,300-year-old tomb unearthed in Greece

A tomb in the ancient Macedonian city of Aegae in modern Vergina, Greece, has been unearthed according to an All That’s Interesting report. The tomb is believed...

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new movie ‘Kinds of Kindness’ included in Cannes lineup

New films from Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Francis Ford Coppola, as well as a portrait of 1980s Donald Trump, will compete for the...

You May Also Like

AHEPA Australia honours Greek heroes of the 1821 Revolution

AHEPA Australia marked Greek Independence Day on Friday, March 29 with a lunch at the Greek Community Club in Lakemba, Sydney. The event was well-attended...

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas reacts to assumptions he is Greek

South Australia's 47th Premier Peter Malinauskas is the first with a non-Anglo surname so it's no surprise he's always questioned about his heritage. One assumption...

NSW Faith Affairs Council holds its first full meeting

The NSW Faith Affairs Council held its first full meeting on Wednesday, November 29 at NSW Parliament House. The meeting was also attended by...