Keep the SA Mental Health Commission Independent of SA Health

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There have been a number of reviews into mental health services in South Australia; a common theme that emerged was that there was a lack of investment in the promotion, prevention and early intervention aspects of mental health and wellbeing.

The SA Mental Health Commission’s establishment, which had bipartisan support, was the result of significant lobbying from the community to address this historic underinvestment.

The SA Mental Health Commission provides a trusted, independent platform for the voices of our community to be heard. They put people at the heart of strategy, policy and planning for mental health and wellbeing.

Minister Stephen Wade has announced his intention to abolish the Mental Health Commission and use its funds to employ more clinicians and bureaucrats in SA Health.  Minister Wade has also said the he will move the Commission and put it into Wellbeing SA - another department in Health! How is this independent when it will be controlled by Health? We must not let this happen.

What do we stand to lose if the SA Mental Health Commission is abolished or moved into Health?

·         We will lose the only government agency that focuses solely on mental health and wellbeing

·         We will lose an independent, effective way to make our voices heard in strategy, policy and planning for mental health and wellbeing in South Australia

·         We will lose the safe spaces that have been created for us to share our stories

·         We will lose the opportunity to influence the government at a community level.

·         We will lose any investment in prevention and early intervention in mental health and wellbeing because SA Health will always prioritise investment in illness and dealing with crises.

SA Health have proved they are incapable of doing what the Commission does.

Every other state has an independent Commission - don't let us become a  Granny state by not having one.