The ANMF has lodged a submission to the Productivity Commission on the social and economic benefits of improving mental health. The submission makes three primary points:
1. It is vital to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of the general population via a comprehensive, integrated approach addressing the complex and interlinked nature of general health and wellbeing, mental health, and the social and cultural determinants of health and mental health.
2. Mental Health Nurses have the expertise and qualifications to make a real difference to people’s recovery journeys. Implementation of successful nurse-led programs and associated interventions such as Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP), Nurse Practitioner models and enhanced Maternal Child Health Nurse (MCHN) approaches is essential. These models have been positively evaluated with findings demonstrating that in relation to MHNIP, mental health nurses provided cost effective community-based health care which improved overall mental health and social functioning for people, decreased Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) scores, reduced hospital admissions and for some people, increased in employment when engaging with a mental health nurse.
3. That supporting and improving the mental health and wellbeing of the general population is underpinned by ensuring that the health and mental health workforce that provides care for the community and individuals within it are themselves supported and enabled to be mentally healthy.