22 August 2019


The Mental Health Commission of NSW welcomes the release of the Bureau of Health Information (BHI)’s Healthcare in Focus: People’s use and experiences of mental health services in NSW for the first time. We believe it is important to have information on people’s use and experience of mental health services in NSW in the public domain.

The BHI report highlights some of the issues the Commission has been hearing during the Living Well mid-term review community consultations around NSW.

These issues include people’s experiences of presenting to emergency departments when in distress. The Commission has heard that many people would prefer alternatives to emergency departments that include peer-led and trauma-informed safe spaces in the community. Innovative alternatives exist such as Resolve in Cranebrook and Orange and Nepean Hospital’s dedicated 24 hour mental health triage and assessment centre.

The report provides information and evidence to continue discussions on what people in NSW need in mental health services. We know that nearly one in five people in NSW each year will experience a mental health issue. The BHI report provides information that identifies only one in twelve people received mental health services from GPs in 2017-18.

The report clearly shows the increase in presentations to emergency departments by young people. This is consistent with what the Commission has heard about gaps in services for children and young people in distress or with ongoing mental health issues, where they end up at hospital due to lack of other suitable options.

In line with the Commission’s priorities, we also emphasise the urgent need for culturally appropriate mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services for Aboriginal people and communities in NSW.

Read the full report here: http://www.bhi.nsw.gov.au/BHI_reports/healthcare_in_focus/mental_health_care.


Media enquiries:

Joanna Durney
Manager, Engagement and Communications
Call 02 9859 5200 or 0477 721 339
Email joanna.durney@mhc.nsw.gov.au

About the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
The Mental Health Commission of NSW was established under the Mental Health Commission Act 2012 and came into operation on 1 July 2012. The Commission is an independent statutory agency responsible for monitoring, reviewing and improving mental health and wellbeing for people in NSW. The Commission works with government and the
community to secure better mental health and wellbeing for everyone, and to ensure the availability of appropriate supports in or close to home when people are unwell or at risk of becoming unwell. In all its work, the Commission is guided by the lived experience of people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring, their families and kinship groups.
Support services
If this story raises concerns or distress for you or someone you know, the following services are available to provide support and assistance:
NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

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Last updated: 3 October 2019