Media Release: Productivity Commission Inquiry supports major reform for mental health

17 November 2020 – For Immediate Release

Media Release: Productivity Commission Inquiry supports major reform for mental health

Children’s Mental Health Charity KidsXpress welcomes the long-awaited release of the Productivity Commission’s report for their Inquiry into Mental Health.

Margo Ward, Founder & CEO of KidsXpress said:

This inquiry marks a pivotal moment towards a reformed and effective mental health system for all Australians, but especially for our youngest and most vulnerable members of society – our children.

It was heartening to see The Productivity Commission’s Mental Health Inquiry present a long-term plan for a person-centred mental health system that truly prioritises prevention and early intervention. Mental ill-health in the formative years can detrimentally disrupt the architecture of the developing brain and these disruptions can impair a child’s capacity for learning and relating to others – with lifelong implications. The earliest years of life set the tone for the whole of our lifespan and I’m not overstating when I say that supporting the mental health of our children is the single most cost effective investment we can make as a society. This is a monumental step forward.”

The benefits of protecting and promoting children’s mental health accrue over many years and are felt across generations. An independent 2015 study by Deloitte Access Economics showed that following participation on the nationally accredited KidsXpress Therapy program, the organisation generated a return in savings and social value of $2.76 for every $1 invested in the organisation – all within just 12 months.

The Productivity Commission’s report goes on to specifically make a number of recommendations to better support the social and emotional wellbeing of children in schools while also stating that “schools be required to report on their progress against wellbeing outcomes, with school principals being accountable for these outcomes.”

On this Margo Ward says:

Better supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of children in schools is a welcome suggestion as any school-based mental health intervention means it is more accessible for children, particularly for marginalised groups. However, it’s imperative that teachers receive the support they need before we add another burden to the already overcrowded curriculum. That’s why professional outreach services like the KidsXpress School Partnership Program are best aligned to provide this service in our schools. Through the delivery of therapy and education services to both students and staff, we’re ensuring a holistic approach to addressing mental ill-health.”

The role of the Productivity Commission is to provide independent research and advice to the Government on economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians and the Productivity Commission’s inquiry report into Mental Health was publicly released yesterday after being handed to the Australian Government on 30 June 2020.

Established in 2005, KidsXpress is a specialist children’s mental health organisation providing trauma-focused Expressive Therapy and Education Services to children 12 years and under, caregivers, educators and child support professionals.

Media enquiries can be directed to Nimisha Swami, Head of Marketing, on  02 93809220 or nimisha.swami@kidsxpress.org.au. For general information on KidsXpress visit: https://kidsxpress.org.au/