The bulk of the funding for GPs who will be one of the players in this is coming from the Commonwealth. Most of the administration and priority-setting around the delivery of mental health services delivered by public health systems are run by the state governments. Pat McGorry: We have so many suicides because we’re not identifying and intervening. We could reduce the suicide toll to about one-third – just like’s been done with the road toll – if we provided that. That’s why I say, it’s mostly preventable. Lisa Munsie: We need to review how we assess mental health claims. The onus of proof for a person with a mental illness or physical illness is a very complicated process that they don’t necessarily understand. In many ways we encourage mental ill health to develop down the track if we do enact that process. It goes back to product development.

I’d like to see the involvement of rehabilitation, irrespective of liability. In the end, the decline-rate of claims for any type of disability has decreased significantly over the last 10 years. I’m not saying we accept every single claim, but when you consider having a more equitable process, we’ll see some great things happen. John Mendoza: There are some great online programs and Government doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to get a lot of value. We can have strategic investments such as the HeadSpace investment from the Commonwealth. A fairly small scale but it’s producing systemic changes, and opening access to young people from a $50 million investment over three years. Small beer in the Commonwealth outlays. Then, there are the eMental Health therapy programs. We have good evidence that online therapy is, for men, better than face-to-face therapy. Psychologists don’t want to hear this. The evidence is building that a number of sessions – a guided, self-directed program over the Net, supported by a real person – can produce better outcomes (for mild to moderate cases of depression and anxiety disorders), than five or six sessions with psychologists. So the cost benefit is enormous.

For super funds and group insurers, there are partners out there who have these programs ready to go, evidence-based, Australian-made, world’s best, and they are desperate to find partners to make these things much more accessible. Brad Morcombe: That would be a good avenue for a fund such as ours, Maritime Super. We’re a very blue-collar fund, being maritime workers. The stigma that members face is, well, it’s a blokey industry. We don’t talk about things like that. Having that online may remove some of that pressure. Michael Rooney: There’s a bigger issue. We’re told we’ve all got to work until we’re 80 or 120, I forget which one it is. So, how do we ensure and encourage work participation, because it will help address the issue. The government keeps talking this rhetoric about people over 50 working longer, but the Government is not working with employment groups who encourage employers to employ them.

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