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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Australian mental health reform: time for real outcomes

Ian B Hickie, Grace L Groom, Patrick D McGorry, Tracey A Davenport, Georgina M Luscombe
Medical Journal of Australia 2005 April 18, 182 (8): 401-6
15850437
After 12 years of national mental health reform, major service gaps and poor experiences of care are common. The mental health community reports little progress in implementing its key priorities, such as expanded early-intervention programs, comanagement of people with mental health problems and related alcohol or substance misuse, and widening of the spectrum of acute care settings. We propose new national targets for reducing the social and economic costs of poor mental health; these include increased access to effective care, reduced suicide rates and improved rates of return to full social and economic participation. We detail specific service reforms designed to maximise the chance of achieving these targets, and prioritise youth health and integrated primary care programs. New independent and national reporting systems on the progress of mental health reform are urgently required.

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