The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, today announced the appointment of Monsignor David Cappo AO as Chair of the nation’s first National Mental Health Commission.
Monsignor Cappo has held several senior positions, including as a former national director of the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission, Beyond Blue and the former Deputy Chair of the National Mental Health Advisory Committee.
“The new Commission will, for the first time, allow us to properly measure and independently report on what is happening in Australia’s mental health system – with the needs and experiences of consumers and carers placed at the very centre,” Monsignor Cappo said.
The Commission will:
- manage and administer the Annual National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention;
- monitor and report on the performance of the mental health system including through ongoing evaluation of the Ten Year Roadmap for Mental Health Reform which is currently being developed;
- develop, collate and analyse data and reports from other sources including Commonwealth agencies reporting on progress - with a particular focus on ensuring a cross sectoral perspective is taken to mental health reform;
- provide mental health policy advice to Government in consultation with relevant agencies; and
- engage consumer and carers in mental health policy and service improvements.
The Government is continuing to consult the mental health sector, including consumers and carers, about the role of the new Commission. The Mental Health Council of Australia this week hosted a workshop, at the Minister’s request, preparing for the Commission’s commencement on 1 January 2012.
The Government is investing $32 million over five years to establish the new Commission, which will be based in Sydney.