NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley and Dr. Arthur Evans

NSW Mental Health Commissioner, John Feneley and Dr. Arthur Evans at The Mint, Sydney

21 September 2016

Leading American health innovator Dr Arthur Evans, held a diverse audience spellbound on 31 August 2016 as he outlined the major strides he has made toward instituting a population-based approach to mental health in his city of Philadelphia.

Since taking the role of Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) a decade ago, Dr. Evans has measurably improved the mental health of communities and lowered treatment costs taking solutions to the people rather than waiting for people to come for treatment. Focussing on early intervention, community support and building the mental health literacy of those who are not affected by mental illness, the city’s programs are far-ranging and comprehensive.

One community initiative, Healthy Minds Philly, engages whole communities to work toward better mental health at a grassroots level and empowers individuals to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. One aspect of this is the mental wellbeing tests offered free in local neighbourhoods and train stations, giving local residents the opportunity to get a ‘check up from the neck up’, with practical follow-through for those who need help.

Guests who attended the event at The Sydney Mint included members of the Parliamentary Friends of Mental Health The Hon. Scott Farlow MP, (Chair), Kate Washington, Member for Port Stephens, The Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC, and Anoulack Chanthivong, Member for Macquarie Fields. Other attendees included Phil Minns, Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Public Service Commission and Ian Hickie, Co-Director Health and Policy of the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney.

A video of Dr Evans' presentation is available below. 

  • Listen to Dr. Evans' interview on ABC RN Breakfast here.
  • Download Dr. Evans’ presentation here.
  • Download information about relevant resources from the Commission here.

View more information about Healthy Minds Philly on the website at www.healthymindsphilly.org, or take a mental health screening at www.healthymindsphilly.org/screening.

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Last updated: 24 June 2017