12 October 2021

Emerging Minds media response: New children’s mental health strategy hailed as life changing

Emerging Minds welcomes and commends the Australian Government’s National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, launched today.

“This world-first strategy brings much-needed visibility to children’s mental health and will change lives for the better,” said Emerging Minds Director Brad Morgan.

“It maps out key approaches and a commitment to meeting the needs of infants and children, who are too often an invisible part of mental health conversation.

“The strategy will help de-stigmatise mental health and focuses on supporting and improving the wellbeing of Australian infants and children.

“Prevention and early intervention play a critical role in reducing the onset and severity of mental illness. By addressing mental health in children and infants, we can improve the mental health of all Australians in the future.

“The strategy recognises that children’s mental health ranges from ‘well’, where their needs are being met and they have an opportunity to thrive, to ‘unwell’, where further support is needed.

“The strategy’s four main areas – Family and Community, the Service System, Education Settings, and Evidence and Evaluation – offer a comprehensive strengths-based, prevention focused, community-led and child-centred approach.

“It acknowledges that to truly support infant and child mental health, a multi-faceted and collaborative approach is critical, involving children, parents, carers, educators, and practitioners, as well as services, systems and the policies that govern them.

“Emerging Minds is pleased that the strategy looks at ways that services can better meet the needs of children and families at all stages of the mental health continuum, including service delivery, workforce capacity and the availability of timely support. We also welcome the call for a better understanding of the underlying causes of child mental health issues, as well as the need to ensure interventions are targeted and fit for purpose.

“The strategy’s focus on destigmatising child mental health, offering hope and acknowledging that we all have a role to play in creating healthy outcomes in our children sets a strong foundation for this work going forward.

“We look forward to supporting the implementation of the strategy in partnership with the Australian, State and Territory Governments, organisations, practitioners, researchers and, most importantly, the infants, children and families who will benefit from this work.”