Culmination of an 18-month review
In October 2018, the Government announced a Productivity
Commission inquiry into the role of mental health in supporting
economic participation and enhancing the nation’s productivity.
Over 18 months, the inquiry considered how mental illness can
affect all aspects of a person’s quality of life including
physical health, social participation, education, employment and
, which was handed down by the Prime Minister on 16 November,
estimated that mental ill-health and suicide in Australia directly
cost the country between $43 and $70 billion in 2018-2019. In
addition, the cost of disability and early death is estimated to
cost a further $151 billion a year.
Digital Mental Health Services highly regarded
The Productivity Commission acknowledged that online treatment can
provide a convenient, clinically effective, low-cost way for
Australians to manage their mental wellbeing.
While not being a replacement for existing face-to-face services,
the Commission acknowledged the value proposition of the sector
included expanded reach, accessibility and improved efficacy of
the mental health system as a whole. Financially, digital services
are positioned well as they use a smaller amount of clinician time
without a reduction in consumer outcomes and safety.
With this in mind, one of their key recommendations outlined to
the Australian Government, was to increase funding to expand
supported online mental health services. Alongside a scale up of
digital services, they further recommended investigating and
investing in campaigns to raise the public’s awareness of digital
mental health services and commissioning an evaluation of the
performance of the sector.
Investing in Mental Health can save Australians and improve
MindSpot worked closely with the Commission to share data and
insights throughout the process, with MindSpot being mentioned
some 90 times in the 1,600 page Report.
MindSpot Executive Director, Professor Nick Titov, praised the
work of the Commission.
“The Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, is one
of the most comprehensive reviews of the Australian mental
health sector to date.
Learn more about the Productivity Commission Report here
“I strongly support the recommendations, and in particularly
note the importance of recognising that there are multiple
determinants of mental health.
“The recommendations to scale up and invest in digital services
provides an opportunity to realise the value of these service
models. Scaling up needs to be done carefully - I fully back the
commission’s acknowledgement that attention should be given to
quality assurance, workforce development, and integration with
“Now more than ever, off the back of a challenging year for many
Australians with the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, investment
into enhancing the mental wellbeing of Australians is critical.”