Welcome to TAMHSS

Welcome to TAMHSS first blog posting. Our blog is now up and running and we welcome your comments on topics related to mental health.

TAMHSS (Transforming Australia’s Mental Health Service Systems)
• Provides an independent forum to increase and sustain the momentum for reform
• Encourages the Australian community to participate in the transformation of the
Australian mental health service system.

A part of the whole or a hole in the map?
There is ample evidence that the mental health community knows what is needed to move towards improving and transforming Australian Mental Health Services (public, private and NGO). Recent policy announcements from both sides of the political spectrum are welcome, however much is still missing. They have neatly cut out a small segment of the overall map of the mental health landscape and presented it to the Australian public as if it were the whole map.

Early Intervention Programs are certainly needed but they are only a segment of the whole. Inherent in these programs is the concept of preventing or reducing the effects of mental illness in young people. Not all of the Australian population is under the age of 30 years. In fact Australia is preparing for the retirement and old age of the Baby Boomers. So where is the increased funding to mental health services for this age group? Where is the funding for carers? Where is the funding for those with mental illness who are homeless? Where is the funding to assist with employment? Where is the funding for community-based mental health teams who are the first port of call in the public sector for those experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder? Why do politicians focus on beds? Yes, beds are needed. But they are only a part of the whole. There is a great gaping hole in current political announcements on mental health.

The Way Forward
In recent years there have been numerous reports and plans which outline ways forward. We will be commenting further on these, but in the meantime, please send us your ideas for strategies to transform mental health services in Australia to better serve people with mental disorders and also their families and carers.



7 thoughts on “Welcome to TAMHSS

  1. What a fantastic site, lets hope we can encourage the goverment to put more funding into intervention and provention services for all mental health users and their carers.

  2. Hi Janette and thanks for dropping by we value ALL contributions.
    Be sure to download the membership form so you can stay in touch with news and events.

    TAMHSS Team

  3. I would like to spend a few days with every politician, policy maker,” numbers man/woman” I would take them to meet the people their decisions affect The carers who finish up consumers from the long term (years) stress they experience and the worry about what will happen when they are no longer here to care To the consumers who can not get help unless there is an absolute emergency, and sometimes not even them, The consumers do not understand the concept of early intervention because the services are so understaffed due to lack of funding that early intervention is just two words. I would make them LISTEN to what the front line service providers experience and their feed back on how to make the wrongs right, , but of course, because of the politics they would have to be “hidden from site” I would take the decision makers to a park here in Perth where people with schizophrenia are sleeping this winter and last winter too!. I would take the decision makers to meet the families who have lost a family member to suicide and “feel the impact that has on the whole family . If that did not get the message through I would like to take them away from family, friends, food , shelter in the middle of winter and tell them…..This how you must live from now on as you are now going to be treated the same as many with mental illness …a second class citizen without hope

  4. I think your ideals and vision are great. What I am struggling with is how you intend to implement these actions and ideals. What political clout do you have? Do you have enough people with time and energy to drive this? I may sound cynical, but I have joined many many internet groups, blogs, etc. dedicated to mental health issues, and set up by dedicated people, and I contribute what I can, only to find that within weeks they have stagnated, no-one is posting anything and they seem to fritter away into nothingness. What is the relationship of this group to other structures out there such as the peaks, national advisory bodies, etc – the ones who are at the table when it comes to discussion? The paucity of comments posted to this site seems to reflect a resounding lack of interest out there – for possibly a number of reasons. Maybe people are tired. Maybe they are overloaded with committments to other groups and other causes within mental health. I don’t know. Interested to discuss.

  5. Thank you for your comments. We agree with you that it is difficult to maintain momentum in the push for reform of mental health services. It is easy to put forward aims, ideals and vision but it is not easy to put them into action. We believe that we all (individuals and organisations) need to make known our responses to national and state/territory mental health strategies, and that we need to start somewhere, ie from a seed an idea can grow and be spread throughout the land. We don’t aim to compete with larger better known organisations (eg GET UP) but to keep adding our voices to debates in mental health. Please let us know how we can all make a difference to Australian mental health services and programs.

  6. TAMHSS quotes the Australian Bureau of Statistic and, therefore consequent government farytale figures, of some 2000 suicides in Australia each year. Please tell me you don’t believe that, any more than I do…please. The ABS has been pushing this fiction/lie for what seems like for ever!

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