Work will begin on the development of a National Partnership Agreement on Mental Health following last week’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).


According to the communiqué released following the meeting, the agreement will  focus on: stable accommodation and support; and the presentation, admission and discharge planning in major hospitals and emergency departments, and related support services.  


“By addressing priority service gaps in Australia’s mental health system the National Partnership will help move Australia’s mental health system away from crisis-driven activity towards prevention, early intervention and care in the community,” the Council stated.


COAG also agreed to commence work on a Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform (the Roadmap) that will set out the vision, priorities, and main steps in achieving this vision.


The COAG meeting was briefed by three mental health experts -  Professor Patrick McGorry, head of the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, Frank Quinlan, Chief Exectuive of the Mental Health Council of Australia, and David Cappo, who advises the South Australian government on social inclusion, briefed the leaders' meeting on Friday morning


The proposed National Partnership and the Roadmap will be considered by COAG before the end of 2011.