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Mental health commission to be led by those affected

28 November 2011 - 12:55pm

A new mental health agency in New South Wales will require important decision makers to have personal experience with the issue, if new legislation is passed.

Due to open July 1 2012, the $30 million Mental Health Commission will see each government agency in the state implementing a united plan to fix mental healthcare.

Minister for mental health Kevin Humphries introduced legislation to parliament last week (November 24) stating that either the commissioner or a deputy commissioner must have personal, lived experience of mental illness.

"It means that the commission's work will be informed by the direct and personal experience of mental illness of one of its senior officials," Mr Humphries said.

Mr Humphries said it would be one of the most important mental health reforms in the state's history.

"This plan does not just cover the health system, but the full range of services and supports provided across government including housing, education and those in the criminal justice system." ...justice system," said Mr Humphries.

According to the proposal, the commission will not only have the power to request data from other public sector agencies, but will also be able to produce independent reports into selected matters, as well as producing an annual report evaluating the government's success in implementing its plan.