The federal government has made a draft National Mental Health Reform plan available for public consultation.
The announcement was made by the minister for mental health and ageing Mark Butler – in conjunction with minister for families Jenny Macklin – today (January 17).
The 42-page draft roadmap comes after an agreement was reached by the Council of Australian Governments last August to designate representatives from each state and territory to better develop a national focus on mental health.
"While we've taken great strides in how we view and treat mental illness, more needs to be done to provide a system that provides all the levels of care people living with mental illness need, available in the right place and at the right time," Mr Butler stated.
"We want to get this roadmap right and we want the community to be involved in the process which is why we are making it available for public comment," Ms Macklin added.
According to the federal government's Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, one in five Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lives.
Psychological services outside of Medicare's current system can be accessed by patients with private health cover, with some policies covering a portion of the costs.
Feedback on the government proposal can be made through an online survey until February 1.