Productivity Commission mental health report highlights housing services

AHURI to present Trajectories research to Inquiry

22 November 2019

The Productivity Commission has released a draft report for their inquiry into the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s population; the prevention and early detection of mental illness; and treatment for those who have a diagnosed condition. The draft report encourages written submissions from the public and other health professionals up until 23 January 2020. The Commission will present the report to the Australian Government by May 2020.

The report includes a draft recommendation that housing services should increase their capacity to prevent people with mental illness from experiencing housing issues or losing their home. As part of the recommendation, state and territory governments should offer and encourage mental health training and resources for social housing workers, including how to identify early warning signs of mental illness, and have social housing authorities review their policies relating to anti-social behaviour and temporary absences for people with mental illness, so as to reduce the risk of eviction and subsequent homelessness.

The report also encourages:

  • a nationally consistent formal policy of no exits into homelessness for people with mental illness who are discharged from institutional care, including hospitals and prisons;
  • a review of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Specialist Disability Accommodation strategy and policies so as to develop long-term supported accommodation for National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients with severe and persistent mental illness;
  • increasing the number of ‘supported housing’ places for those individuals with severe mental illness who are in need of integrated housing and mental health supports.

As a result of specialised research AHURI has undertaken for the Trajectories project in partnership with Mind Australia, one of Australia's leading community managed specialist mental health service providers, AHURI has been asked to make a presentation to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry.

The Trajectories project is gathering evidence from both local and international sources, and analysing mental health and housing programs and models; policy levers and system level drivers relating to housing, mental health and homelessness.

The final report from the project will be the centrepiece of AHURI’s next national one-day conference Housing: the foundation for mental health to be held in Sydney in February 2020. Tickets are limited for this important national event so early registration is encouraged.