Australia’s mental health commissions came together in 2017 to release a consensus statement in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and addressing the need for the Government to rise to the challenge of childhood trauma.
The statement, endorsed by the National Mental Health Commission, and the Mental Health Commissions of NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, identifies nine ‘essential elements’ to be addressed by State and Federal Governments in the wake of the Royal Commission:
- Recognise that childhood trauma is broader than institutional child abuse.
- Recognise the strength and resilience of survivors and use this, rather than an illness-based approach, to build positive outcomes.
- Build trauma capability across the full spectrum of services that recognises and responds to the specific needs of people managing the devastating impacts of abuse.
- Develop co-ordinated responses to the varied needs of consumers, including extended access to Medicare-funded counselling.
- Prepare for increased demand.
- Increase community-based support workers.