Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into ‘The Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health’.
Given the need for systemic and culture change in mental health, Jesuit Social Services is heartened by the Inquiry’s focus on how reforms outside of healthcare – such as in workplaces, education, justice systems, housing and social services – can improve mental health and hence social and economic participation.
Overall, we believe a range of themes and issues deserve consideration or require greater emphasis as part of the Productivity Commission’s deliberations, including:
- Social determinants of health (with a focus on housing, education and employment).
- Integration across all service systems including AOD, family violence, youth and adult justice, child protection, employment, housing and homelessness, and NDIS.
- Co-design and the incorporation of the voice of people with lived experience of mental health in program design and delivery.
- Impact of trauma and the need for therapeutic responses specifically to support vulnerable individuals in this area.
- Mental health and the justice system – links between custody and mental health services (including those delivered via the NDIS).
- Use of isolation, seclusion and restraint in mental health facilities, prisons and youth detention.
- Addressing the needs of vulnerable cohorts including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from CALD backgrounds, those in contact with the criminal justice system, people with a history of homelessness, those with multiple and complex needs, young people exiting out of home care or youth justice, people with an Acquired Brain Injury, LGBTIQ community, international students, people seeking asylum, and refugees.
Our submission picks up on the headings identified in the Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper and makes a series of recommendations based on our experience of providing support to the most vulnerable and marginalised in the community.